Idaho Physical Activity and Nutrition Program – Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
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Idaho Physical Activity and Nutrition Program – Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

– The Double Up
Bucks is really an interesting concept
that’s us giving It’s the market giving. It’s
the city of Boise giving. It’s these farmers giving
to a community of people that possibly haven’t
accessed this before. – The Idaho Physical Activity
and Nutrition Program is housed within the Department
of Health and Welfare. The Bureau of Community
and Environmental Health houses several programs that
work statewide and in Boise. So IPAN started working with the Idaho Farmers Markets
Association to help ensure a culture of health
for all Idahoans, making sure that
everybody has access to fresh produce and healthier
food choices throughout Idaho. – The Idaho Farmers Market
Association has partnered with the Division of Health’s IPAN
for the last several years and this partnership has
enabled us to devote staff time to expanding the food stamp
friendly farmers market program. And one of the big programs
we’ve been working on lately is the Double Up
Food Bucks program. How it works is for every
dollar a food stamp participant uses they receive another
dollar to spend on those locally grown fruits
and vegetables. The Double Up Food Bucks
program in 2016 was occurring at 13 farmers markets statewide. And we have goals over
the next three years to make this program eligible to every farmers market in Idaho so that Idahoans of
all income levels can access local fruits
and vegetables and that we can support
our local farmers. – When we started the
Boise Farmers Market, one of our missions was,
of course, to support small family farms, local farms. But the other
mission was to help get a sustainable food
system for our community which means making
access to healthy food available for everybody. We opted to take the SNAP
card, the Quest card, in Idaho it’s the Quest
card, for the SNAP benefits. And it’s helpful to the
people who are receiving those benefits if they
can have a little bit extra punch for
fruits and vegetables. – We focus on the Double
Up Food Bucks program at farmers markets because
they are statewide. And then we also have the
ability through this program to bring more
federal food dollars in the doubling money
to local farmers. The Double Up Food Bucks
program is really a triple win. We’re keeping those
federal food dollars in our local economy so
that they go further. We are putting more money in the pockets of our local farmers. And then we are incentivizing
the healthy food purchasing through
fruits and vegetables. – I was one of the
farms that said I would really like
to participate. So far we’ve seen a lot of
different types of shoppers: families that would come down
from maybe ethnic backgrounds, refugees come down,
families that we haven’t seen before come down
and use those bucks, especially a lot of children
trying new vegetables out. Most of the people
that participate in
this farmers market are doing it for
a higher calling. They see something that
can be healed or something that they want to
participate in, a food system that
they believe in. They enjoy farming this way. They enjoy the connection
with their customers. When we exchange those
wooden dollars between us, a lot of times for people
who are using those wooden dollars, or
they’re using SNAP cards in grocery stores,
there’s a stigma of what it feels
like to use those. And here it is like a gift. We’ve given them a gift
of those Double Up Bucks, you know, as them to give back. And so that exchange has
more of a feeling of pride, pride for us as a market
that we’ve done that, and pride for the
people that we’re saying please come shop with us. – It’s great it feels like
we’re all a part of the same community group when
we’re sharing information and talking about our food
that makes us connected. It helps to strengthen
our community. When more people are coming
down to the farmers market, talking to the vendors, it
makes a stronger community. And when we get to
have fun with our food it makes us just
love it even more and spend more time down here. Food, community through
food. It’s great. – The Department of
Health and Welfare is planning to continue
working on improving communities from an
active design standpoint. Alta Planning is a design firm. They specialize in designing
active communities. So we brought them
on specifically
through the department to work in communities
to improve access and create better connectivity to places where
people can recreate so that they can be
mobile and more safe in their community. – The Activity Connection
Plan was an idea I came up with
about six years ago. We work and understand
how we can improve our communities, for walking
and biking specifically, in a fundamental
known, and that is that most people walk and
bike for recreation. So we try to look
at those assets and marry the assets
where people are active with the infrastructure
that gets them to and from those places. The work that I do
improves residents’ health by improving access. We also strive to improve
and address equity as well. We really try hard to achieve
a balance in our communities. And I often say, if you
can’t walk from your house to the nearest park,
we’re failing you. And what the ACP is really about is trying to deliver
that and then some for people who are working,
living, and playing in the communities
that we live in. One of the capacity
building methods that my company
uses is a workshop, two-day workshop, called
the Looking Glass Academy. That academy, over the
course of two days, takes people from
all walks of life and teaches them on how
to conduct a walk audit within their own communities. How can they go out
on their own streets and use that technical
knowledge that I have go and access some
of the resources that are available to them to
make an argument for change, to improve their communities. There are still a few
communities that are reluctant, especially in the bicycle realm, to right size their streets
and create these spaces, but there has been some
real positive change. So really, I hope that
all of these communities continue with the
momentum, build on it, and propel their
systems to even more modern versions in the future.

About Bill McCormick

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