Amanda Riphenburg wrote -
Access to Nutritious Healthy Food
Food security is the reliable access to nutritious and healthy food. Food insecurity is the struggle to consistently obtain healthy foods due to a lack of resources or reasonable access.
- According to the 2013 American Community Survey results, in the Missoula Metro Area, around 13% households received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly known as food stamps) benefits
In North/Westside neighborhoods the rates of SNAP beneficiaries are much higher.
- About 26% of households living on the North/Westside received SNAP benefits.
- SNAP contributes to improved food access; however many individuals and families are still food insecure even with SNAP benefits.
- In 2014, the average monthly SNAP benefit for a Montanan was less than $4 dollars a day or just over $1 a meal! Individuals and families struggle to eat on such a small budget and have an even more difficult time gaining access to fresh and nutritious foods.
Double SNAP Dollars as a Solution
The Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) program is a local solution. DSD is a collaboration of local organizations working to help stretch food dollars further. Partnering organizations include:
- The Missoula Community Food Co-op with the North Missoula Community Development Corporation
- the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition,
- the Clark Fork Market, and
- the Missoula Farmers Market
Together the collaboration of organizations is dedicated to fighting food insecurity in our communities. The DSD program will be implemented at the Missoula Food Co-op and both farmers markets.
Benefits to Individuals and Families: The DSD program provides a 1:1 match on SNAP benefits when used to purchase fresh and/or whole foods. For example, if a Missoula resident used 5 SNAP dollars to purchase local spinach, she would receive another $5 to put towards other healthy food such as strawberries or summer squash.
Benefits to Local Farmers and Growers: Local community organizations such as the Missoula Community Food Co-op and the Missoula Farmers Markets are implementing the program in a sustainable manner, which means that DSD also promotes bigger returns for local farmers and growers!
Growing Additional Partners We have many organizational partners, but we cannot implement the DSD program without additional individual and organizational supporters. Donated funds will go directly to the Co-op’s match pool, which means every dollar you contribute will have a direct impact on improving food security. Together we can help to keep bellies full through affordable access to the best food around!