Congressman Dan Kildee Hails New Federal Funding Expanding Access to Healthy Local Food at Mid-Michigan Farmers' Markets

Press Release

Date: April 1, 2015

U.S. Department of Agriculture Grants Help Michigan Farmers, Will Increase Access to Healthy and Locally-Grown Food for Michigan Families

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today applauded over $5 million in federal grants being awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the Fair Food Network to expand access to fresh and locally-grown food at farmers' markets across Michigan, including at six farmers' markets in the Fifth Congressional District.

"This federal grant is great news for Michigan families, Michigan farmers, and Michigan's economy," Congressman Kildee said. "Expanding successful programs like the Double Up Food Bucks program pumps millions of dollars into our local economy and also supports family farmers who come to sell their locally-grown fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets across the state. In Congress, I've worked with the Fair Food Network to expand access to locally-grown and fresh produce for families, including getting additional investments for local farmers' markets across Michigan. Every family, no matter where they live, should have access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables."

Congressman Kildee has been a strong advocate for expanding successful food programs, including getting legislation into last year's bipartisan Farm Bill to promote healthy and locally-grown fruits and vegetables at Michigan's farmers' markets. Initially introduced by Congressman Kildee in September 2013, the Local Food for Healthy Families Act was included in the law signed by President Barack Obama to provide five years of funding for food incentive programs like Michigan's successful Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program.

DUFB is a public-private partnership to give state residents on food assistance more purchasing power when buying fresh fruits and produce at participating local farmers' markets across the state. DUFB provides credits to families who receive food assistance benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program so that for every dollar of benefits spent at participating markets, they receive one additional dollar's worth of credits that they can use to purchase healthy, Michigan-grown produce. This doubles the value of participants' food assistance and increases the market for produce from Michigan family farms.

Today's grant announcement is a part of the USDA's Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program.