Madison, WI (Nov. 18, 2022)— Earlier this week, Dane County and the City of Madison passed their respective 2023 budgets. Included in the budgets was a collective $125,000 increase for the Dane County Double Dollars program.
The Dane County Double Dollars program provides matching dollars to individuals and families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to better enable them to stretch their grocery dollar and prioritize purchasing nutritious, locally grown food. The program is implemented by Community Action Coalition for South Central WI, and it is available at 8 farmers markets during the growing season and all 3 Willy Street Coop locations from October to May.
“We are grateful and encouraged by Dane County and the City of Madison’s inclusion of the Double Dollars Program in their 2023 budgets,” said Amber Duddy, Executive Director of Community Action Coalition for South Central WI. “Budgets are a statement of a community’s values and priorities. CAC applauds the prioritization of this program that helps those in need stretch their dollars in a time of rising costs. Programs like Double Dollars ensure all community members can live better lives and take part in our cherished community tradition of farmers’ markets.”
“Double Dollars is a necessary program for the community that provides nutritional equity for underserved individuals in Dane County who may not have the means to choose nutritional quality over quantity”, said Kristina Kuhaupt, Customer Experience Manager at Willy Street Co-op. “At Willy Street Co-op, this program benefits not only SNAP users, but helps stimulate the local economy as well. It beautifully connects farmers and local suppliers directly to families.”
For months, county residents and stakeholder partners have voiced support for increased funding for the program. Advocates testified at multiple public hearings and residents from all across the county contacted their local elected leaders in support.
“We want to thank our local elected leaders— County Executive Parisi, County Board Supervisors, Mayor Rhodes-Conway, and City Alders for your support of the Double Dollars program,” said Ed Sloane, Chair of the American Heart Association’s Madison Board. “We especially want to thank Supervisor Mike Bare and Alder Figueroa Cole for championing amendments for increased funding. Your support and partnership is greatly appreciated.”
“Double Dollars is such a great program not only for our customers at the market but for ourfarmers,” said Jamie Bugel, Market Manager for the Dane County Farmers Market. “It allows customers to use their benefits in Dane County and connect with their local farmers.”
Increased funding will enable the Dane County Double Dollars program to continue operations in 2023 and expand to a few additional markets. Current markets participating in the program are Dane County Farmers Market (Saturday and Wednesday markets); Northside Farmers’ Market; Eastside Farmers’ Market; Westside Community Market; Monona Farmers’ Market; Monroe Street Farmers’ Market; Badger Rock Farmers’ Market; and Troy Gardens.
Coalition partners include the American Heart Association, Community Action Coalition for South Central WI, Willy Street Coop, Second Harvest Foodbank of Southeast WI, Access Community Health Center, UW Health, SSM Health, UnityPoint Meriter, Healthy Kids Collaborative, Rooted, Dane County Farmers Market, Eastside Farmers Market, Westside Community Market, Northside Farmers Market, Monroe Street Farmers Market, Monona Farmers Market, REAP Food Group and Dane Buy Local.