LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences announced they have received $350,000 in grants from the Walmart and Alice L. Walton Foundations to support the Northwest Arkansas Farmers’ Market Alliance’s Double Your Dollars program, an initiative that provides residents access to affordable, healthy foods at farmers markets.

According to a press release, the Double Your Dollars program was first created in 2012 to address food insecurity of low-income residents in NWA. Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program will receive vouchers with one-to-one dollar-matched tokens for purchasing healthy, locally grown food at participating farmer’s markets. In 2020, the program was expanded to accept Pandemic SNAP assistance.

Participating farmers’ markets include:

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

“Increasing access to healthier food is critical for the well-being of communities,” said Rachel Spencer, senior manager of strategic initiatives at Walmart.org. “The Double Your Dollars program helps connect people with the nutritious foods they need to thrive, and we’re excited to support this program.”

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

In addition to matching food purchases, UAMS says the grants will support promotional efforts and nutrition education, including cooking demonstrations at markets. All materials and events also accommodate Spanish and Marshallese speakers.

For more information about the Double Your Dollars program, visit https://marketsnap.uark.edu/ or https://www.facebook.com/ArkansasMarketSnap.