PITTSBURG — U.S. Representative Lynn Jenkins (R- Kansas) spoke about Double Up Food Bucks during a meeting at Ron’s Supermarket on Tuesday.
Double Up Food Bucks is a federally-funded grant program which promotes the purchasing of locally-grown produce by matching the amount a customer used through their food stamps — providing up to $25 a day in rewards to purchase more produce.
The Double Up Food Bucks program at Ron’s Supermarket has been promoting locally-grown fruits and vegetables while providing low income families with vouchers since the second week of June.
Ron’s IGA Store Manager Drew Rhodes said the participation in the program has been good and that they are excited for next year as the program will already be running.
“The customers have responded well to it,” he said.
Jenkins also spoke to Pittsburg Area Farmers Market Manager Adam Vickery and Debbie Bearden with Regional Food Systems.
“It was at the last part of May, early part of June when we started taking the EBT and the Double Bucks and it has been a pretty big success,” Vickery said.
Jenkins asked about the barriers which they face when it comes to the program in their areas.
“One of the biggest issues here in Pittsburg is the lack of transportation,” Vicker said. “ We have a lot of senior citizens and the disabled who do not have the transportation to get the farmers market or not even to Ron’s.
“We would like to see is a way for these people to get our market.”
Brian DeSmet and Lauren Schaumburg from Fair Food Network, the supervising organization for Double Up Food Bucks, was also present during the meeting. They shared information about the program.
Jenkins congratulated the markets, store and the food network for their progress in helping low income people and local farmers.
“We will look forward to working with you to make sure it continues to be a huge success and knock down some of the barriers and help as many people as we can,” she said. “Keep up the great work.”
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.