PORTLAND, Ore. — Thousands of people in Oregon do not have reliable access to fresh and affordable food. That’s the essential problem of food insecurity.
At the non-profit Farmers Market Fund, Executive Director Molly Notarianni has noticed a change. Times are tougher. “Oregon has the sixth highest cost of living in the country, inflation is really being felt by a lot of folks, we’ve seen food prices go up 9% in the last year,” said Notarianni.
So she says, the fund is working with farms to make fruits and vegetables more accessible through a program called Double Up Food Bucks. “For every dollar of SNAP or food stamps that a shopper spends at a participating farmers market, they get an extra dollar of Double Up Food Bucks that they can use to get free local fruits and veggies.”
Malcolm Hoover’s a co-founder of Black Futures Farm in Southeast Portland, where farmers are working with the fund, and producing food like kale, collard greens, and apples.
“Double Up Food Bucks is a great tool that allows us to give more produce to our community members and to people who come to us as customers,” said Hoover. “We primarily donate our produce.”
He tells our news partner KGW why he started the effort. “The goal of Black Futures Farm is to repair the broken connection that Black people have with land,” said Hoover. “We use every means possible to bring people here to build community.”