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Duke Funds Local Farmers’ Markets to Extend Double Bucks Program


Alexis Porter
Alexis Porter
919-695-2792 Email

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Health Office of Community Health is providing funding to six Triangle area farmers’ markets to sustain the popular Double Bucks program for the 2023 market season. The $185,000 grant was awarded from Duke’s Doing Good Employee Giving program.

Double Bucks is a nutrition incentive program offered at specific farmers’ markets in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties to address food insecurity.

“We are so grateful to Duke for providing the funding needed to allow us to continue running this program,” said Crystal Taylor, co-founder of the Black Farmers’ Market. “Double Bucks transforms the way we can provide food to food-insecure residents. The program allows customers to choose and purchase top quality, culturally appropriate, local food with dignity.”

The Double Bucks program provides match dollars that boost the purchasing power for participants in food assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards. Incentives also match WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), Senior FMNP, cash purchases from WIC clients, residents receiving housing vouchers, and SNAP recipients.

In addition to the Black Farmers’ Market (Durham and Wake County locations), participating venues include the Carrboro Farmers’ Market, Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, Durham Farmers’ Market, Eno River Farmers’ Market (Hillsborough), and South Durham Farmers’ Market. Farmer Foodshare is the program’s fiscal agent, and the Durham County Department of Public Health DINE Program provides technical assistance such as grant writing, evaluation, and nutrition education.

This initiative aligns with Duke Health’s goal to build healthy communities and the mission of the university’s Office of Durham and Community Affairs to build purposeful partnerships with community-driven programs that increase access to and affordability of nutritious food.

“Duke is excited to partner with and support the farmers’ markets in their effort to increase food security in the Triangle Area,” says Debra Clark Jones, Duke Health’s associate vice president for Community Health. “By funding Triangle Area Double Bucks, Duke University and Duke Health are not only improving food security for local families, but we are supporting our food system and local farmers, protecting the environment, and drawing federal dollars from the SNAP and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program into our local economy.”

The program began in 2019 after the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated food insecurity in the Triangle while also highlighting the need for a stronger and more interconnected local food system. Surveys show that the Double Bucks program improves both food access and diet quality for participants. Last year, nearly one thousand families shopped at the six markets with Double Bucks, purchasing $239,654 in local food.

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