Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $94,000 to the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ArCOP) to launch a healthy food incentive program in 19 farmers markets across the state, bringing more fresh produce to low-income residents while supporting local farmers. The grant was matched with $25,000 from the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program and other local support totaling more than $116,000.

The program, called Double Up Food Bucks, matches SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) spent at participating sites with additional funds that can be spent on locally grown fruits and vegetables. So if a family spends $10 in SNAP benefits at a farmers market, they get an additional $10 to buy more Arkansas grown fruits and vegetables.

"I am proud to support this project because it's a commonsense way to connect low-income families with healthy food options provided by local farmers," said U.S. Sen. John Boozman, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. "Increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables creates a healthier community and economy. This is a win for Arkansas."

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