SNAP Schnucks

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COLUMBIA - Every Schnucks location in Missouri now has the "Double Up Food Bucks" program, which aims to help people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, while also supporting local farmers.

When Schnucks customers buy fresh, locally-grown produce from Schnucks with their SNAP benefits, Schnucks will match the amount they spend - up to $25 a day - in credit to buy more produce during their next visit.

The program is made possible through a grant from the Mid-America Regional Council and a partnership with the Fair Food Network.

The goal is to help low income families buy and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Stephanie Pavlov is a mom who believes having fresh produce will help her daughter learn better eating habits.

"It's important to be able to afford it because it is pretty expensive trying to eat healthy and get fresh foods that aren't second hand," she said. "It's really important to have a place where people can come and do that."

Schnucks representative Paul Simon said the program is also aiming to help local farmers and the local economy by keeping money in the community.

Schnucks is not the only local grocer with this goal. The Columbia Farmers Market has a similar program.

The Farmers Market uses the Access to Healthy Foods Program, or AHF, to match SNAP and WIC benefits with tokens of equal value, which customers can redeem at the market. Like Schuncks, customers are limited to a $25 match. The market also limits the program to people on government assistance with children under 19 years old.