By James Dickson,
Starting this week, bridge card recipients can stretch their dollars at several farmers markets in Washtenaw County.
The Ann Arbor Farmers Market in Kerrytown, along with its counterparts on the west side of town and in Ypsilanti, have partnered with the Fair Food Network to bring the “Double Up Food Bucks” program to Washtenaw County.
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Shoppers browse the Ann Arbor Farmers Market on a Wednesday in May.
Jessica Webster | AnnArbor.com
The food bucks program kicks off today at the Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market, Wednesday in Kerrytown, Thursday at Ann Arbor’s Westside Market, and Saturday at Ypsilanti-Depot Town, said Rachel Chadderdon, program manager for Double Up Food Bucks.
“When (the Fair Food Network) approached us, I thought this was a great way to bring in people who might not normally come to the Farmers Market,” said Molly Notarianni, manager of the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
Notarianni said the market has accepted food stamps and other food assistance programs for about a year.
Food bucks not only trade as currency — as with food stamp tokens, farmers redeem them for legal tender later — but the network matches bridge card spending 100 percent for purchases up to $20. That means a food bucks user who spends $20 will walk away with $40 worth of fresh fruit and vegetables.
There is one restriction: Double Up Food Bucks can only be spent on Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables.
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