NWA’s Double Your Dollars Food Assistance Program will Now Include Nutrition Education in Three Languages

NWA Double Your Dollars Food Assistance Program
By Pamela Acosta

The Northwest Arkansas Farmer’s Market Alliance’s Double Your Dollar program is one step closer to its goal of making healthy foods and nutrition education more accessible to low-income families and underrepresented communities, thanks to a recent donation by the Walmart Foundation and Alice L. Walton Foundation.

Administered by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the Double Your Dollars program provides recipients with one-to-one dollar-matched tokens for purchasing healthy, locally grown food at participating farmer’s markets. 

UAMS recently received $350,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation and the Alice L. Walton Foundation to support and expand the program, including new efforts to provide nutrition education to underrepresented communities. 

The program will now provide promotional efforts and nutritional information, including cooking demonstrations at markets, in English, Spanish, and Marshallese. 

“Federal nutrition benefits such as SNAP have proven effective in reducing food insecurity by improving access to healthier foods,” said Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., MBA, division director of the UAMS Office of Community Health & Research, in a press release. 

“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.”

The Double Your Dollars program was created in 2012 to address food insecurity in the region. The one-to-one dollar vouchers are offered to recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), and the Pandemic SNAP assistance.

The program was created by the NWA Farmer’s Market Alliance and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, with the Walmart Foundation supporting it since its inception. In 2021, the UAMS Office of Community Health & Research assumed administration of the program.

Participating farmer’s markets include:

  • Bentonville Farmer’s Market
  • Fayetteville Farmer’s Market
  • Goshen Farmer’s Market
  • Gravette Farmer’s Market
  • Downtown Rogers Farmer’s Market
  • Rogers Local Food Market
  • Siloam Springs Farmer’s Market
  • Springdale Farmer’s Market
  • The Food Conservancy of NWA in Springdale