Meet Double Up Ambassador Maxine
Tell me about when and why you became a Double Up Food Bucks user?
I didn’t know much about the Double Up Food Bucks program until I started serving at the Pediatric Public Health Initiative. What I learned is that there is no other program like it. This the only program that will literally give you dollar for dollar for fresh fruits and vegetables. In a community like Flint, that’s going to make ends meet at the end of the month. That’s going to be how people are buying fresh fruit and vegetables for their children, cooking dinner, and trying out new things.
Why did you decide to become up Double Up Ambassador?
After I signed up for the program, I learned that my purchases at the Flint Farmers’ Market qualify for Double Up. There are a lot of different things you can buy there: like apples, homemade peanut butter, and apple butter. A lot of people didn’t know about the Farmers’ Market opportunities with Double Up. So, when I learned about the Ambassador program, I thought, “OK, this is something I can commit to. I can spread this information around and get it out to people.”
What’s a typical week like as an Ambassador?
It’s ten hours a week. Usually, I spend an hour planning or meeting with our Outreach and Engagement Manager. She’s very important in my role. If I need anything like posters or flyers, she makes sure I get them. I often speak with community members and tell them about the program. I visit different stores every week to enroll people, replace cards, or just pass out information. For our new stores, I try to support them while they’re growing their Double Up customer base.
How does Double Up Food Bucks help people?
This program is what gets people through the month. It’s the fresh fruit and veggies on the sides of their plate at dinner time. Double Up is really what’s getting that for them.
What do you enjoy most about this work?
Speaking to my community, my city. Giving them information that will better their lives and make it easier in some way.
What would you say to someone to encourage them to become an Ambassador?
I would really encourage them to sign up for the program themselves and see what it’s all about. I would tell them that it’s a fulfilling job. Once they get to know it, they will love it.
Keep an eye out for Michigan-grown and -raised fruits and veggies the next time you Double Up at a participating store or market.