The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has received a grant of $250,000 from the Walmart Foundation and $100,000 from the Alice L. Walton Foundation to support the Northwest Arkansas Farmers’ Market Alliance’s “Double Your Dollars” program, which provides residents access to affordable and healthy foods at local farmers’ markets.
The Double Your Dollars program was created in 2012 to address food insecurity among low-income residents of Northwest Arkansas. Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aid and/or the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) vouchers are provided with one-to-one dollar matched tokens, which can be used to purchase healthy and locally grown food at participating farmers’ markets.
“Increasing access to healthier food is critical for the well-being of communities,” said Rachel Spencer, senior manager of strategic initiatives at the Walmart Foundation. “The Double Your Dollars program helps connect people with the nutritious foods they need to thrive, and we’re excited to support this program.”
Participating farmers markets include:
- Bentonville Farmers Market
- Fayetteville Farmers Market
- Goshen Farmers Market
- Gravette Farmers Market
- Downtown Rogers Farmers Market
- Rogers Local Food Market
- Siloam Springs Farmers Market
- Springdale Farmers’ Market
- The Food Conservancy of NWA in Springdale
“Federal nutrition benefits such as SNAP have proven effective in reducing food insecurity by improving access to healthier foods,” said Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., M.B.A., division director of the UAMS Office of Community Health and Research. “However, low-income Arkansans who utilize these federal benefits still face multiple barriers to accessing healthy foods, including affordability of nutritious foods, linguistically and culturally appropriate materials and resources about utilizing the program, and nutrition education about healthy foods. These generous donations from the Walmart Foundation and the Alice L. Walton Foundation will help close some of those gaps and eliminate the barriers to food security.”