A program to help low-income residents buy food at Northwest Arkansas farmers markets has recently received grants totaling $350,000.
The grants, $250,000 from the Walmart Foundation and $100,000 from the Alice L. Walton Foundation, will support the Northwest Arkansas Farmers' Market Alliance's Double Your Dollars program. The program also sponsors nutritional education events and promotional efforts, which will be available to Spanish and Marshallese speakers, according to a news release from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
The Double Your Dollars program, established in 2012 and currently administered by the UAMS Office of Community Health and Research, gives one-to-one dollar matched tokens for purchasing local farmers market food to recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers.
"Food insecurity is a strong predictor of diet-related chronic diseases," said Amy Wenger, vice chancellor of the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. "We are grateful to both the Walmart Foundation and the Alice L. Walton Foundation for their generosity and their commitment to improve access to high-quality nutritious foods for low-income individuals in Benton and Washington counties."
Markets participating in the program 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 and The Food Conservancy of NWA in Springdale.