DA BUX program gets more funding

Gov. Josh Green has released $500,000 for the DA BUX Double-Up Program, which doubles recipients’ purchasing power for locally grown produce, using their federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

DA BUX program launched in 2017 and is administered by the Hawaii Food Basket Inc. in partnership with the Hawaii Good Food Alliance. The Food Basket estimates that every dollar spent in the program contributes $2.10 to the local economy.


“High food costs hit individuals and families who are food-insecure much harder, and this program provides support for heathier food choices for better long-term health and wellness,” Green said in a statement. “This program helps families make the most of their food dollars and in the process, keeps federal SNAP funds circulating in our local economy.”

“The DA BUX program doubles the amount of benefits for SNAP recipients when they purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables,” said Sharon Hurd, chair of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Hawaii farmers also benefit from this program with added opportunities to increase their production.”

The program has received overwhelming support from state legislators, public health organizations and government agencies, social service advocates, farmers and agricultural associations, food retailers and Hawaii charitable foundations, according to a press release from Green’s office.

More than 50 food retailers across the state participate in the program, including grocery stores, farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture programs and other farm-direct retailers. The Food Basket surveys indicate that SNAP recipients have significantly increased their purchases of local fruits and vegetables since the program began.

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