Created: October 10, 2020 09:27 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— More New Mexico families are using a SNAP program that lets EBT users double their dollars when buying produce.
State officials said the Double Up Food Bucks program usually uses about $1 million a year helping families and farmers, but this year they’re seeing a 40 percent increase.
Due to the pandemic, the state is seeing more people on food stamps. Students that would typically receive free or reduced lunch at school also qualify for EBT assistance.
"When they go to the farmers' market or a participating grocery store or a farm stand or a CSA, they can use their EBT card and get a dollar for dollar match,” said Denise Miller, the executive director for the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association.
According to Miller, the program helps boost the local economy.
"It helps local farmers by providing sales of their fresh produce and really helps keep those food dollars local which helps our local economies really benefit,” she said.
Families that are interested can exchange dollars on their EBT card for tokens at farmers’ markets worth twice the amount they exchanged. Certain grocery stores also offer a way to double your dollars.
The program uses a mix of state and federal dollars. However, Miller said she plans on asking lawmakers for $500,000 a year during the next session to help with the demand.
According to the state, there are about 90 places in New Mexico that offer the Double Up Food Bucks
For a complete list and more info, visit doubleupnm.org.
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