house concurrent resolution no. 14

Reps. Miller, Edwards, Paiz, Byrnes, Brabec, Coffia, Mentzer, Brixie, MacDonell, Conlin, Fitzgerald, Steckloff, Dievendorf, Young, Grant, Snyder, Rheingans, Wegela, Morgan, Neeley, O'Neal, Hill, Puri, Hope, Rogers, Scott, Weiss, Price, McFall, McKinney, Wilson, Skaggs, Martus, Hood, Glanville, Haadsma, Witwer and Xiong offered the following concurrent resolution:

A concurrent resolution to urge the federal government to increase funding for Double Up Food Bucks programs.

Whereas, Double Up Food Bucks programs increase the purchasing power of individuals who receive Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by providing a dollar-for-dollar match of SNAP benefits spent on fresh fruits and vegetables at participating grocery stores and farmers markets. The benefit is available in the form of a credit redeemable for future purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables; and

Whereas, Michiganís Double Up Food Bucks program was piloted in Detroit in 2009 and became a national model. Today, Double Up Food Bucks are offered in more than 235 locations across Michigan, and 2,928 retailers throughout the country participate in nutrition incentive programs; and

Whereas, These programs help lower-income families who struggle to afford nutritious food essential to their health and well-being. In 2022, SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks were used to purchase 12.2 million dollars in fruits and vegetables for more than 113,500 households. Every year, more than 1.5 million Michigan residents use SNAP benefits to help put food on the table, and over 211,000 households used the Double Up Food Bucks program in 2023; and

Whereas, Michiganís Double Up Food Bucks program creates new markets for Michigan farmers, putting more money into farmersí pockets and strengthening local economies. Of the farmers who have participated in Double Up Food Bucks, 90 percent sold more fruits and vegetables, and 85 percent made additional profits. In 2023, 782 Michigan farms directly benefited from this program; and

Whereas, Every month, participating grocers and farmers markets are reimbursed for the cost of the Double Up Food Bucks benefits utilized by families. The cost is paid for by the Fair Food Network, a private nonprofit that developed and administers Double Up Food Bucks programs. The programs are funded by state appropriations, private nonprofit foundations, and federal grants; and

Whereas, Double Up Food Bucks programs are greatly in need of additional federal funding. During a five-month period from August 2022 through December 2022, the Fair Food Network was forced to suspend Double Up earning at most participating grocers in Michigan, and from January through September 2023, the maximum daily limit on matched benefits was reduced from 20 dollars to 10 dollars per household. These measures were caused by an increase in program participation and a reduction in budgetary support; and

Whereas, The future scaling of the Double Up Food Bucks program will rely on receiving awards from the United States Department of Agricultureís Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, created in the 2018 Farm Bill. These federal awards cover 50 percent of eligible project costs and help to ensure the viability of programs committed to providing fresh fruits and vegetables to income-eligible consumers. Additional grants and federal funding for Double Up Food Bucks programs are critical to providing nutritional support to families; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That we urge the federal government to increase funding for Double Up Food Bucks programs and lower the non-federal match in order to further leverage the state of Michiganís investment; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation, and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture.