Nella Mae's Farm

Fresh, naturally-grown produce from our family farm in Cove, Oregon

Good Deeds Alert

Dear friends,

The Oregon Legislative Session has started, and there are a lot of important issues being discussed, funded or not funded.

One program that I have seen make a great difference for shoppers and vendors at the La Grande Farmers Market is the Double Up Food Bucks program. In short, the market has used grant funding and local donations for the last four years to give $10 matches to low-income shoppers to buy more local, healthy, fresh food and veggies.

Now the Farmers Market Fund is asking the legislature to use some of the state food assistance dollars to support Double Up Food Bucks programs around the state. This will make the program more sustainable and reach more folks.

After a year of COVID, more people are food insecure than ever. If you are interested in learning more or submitting a letter on the current DUFB bills, read on. I have included info on how to submit written testimony and included my letter below.

Feel free to use anything from my letter. Mine letter is long, but yours doesn't have to be! More letters = more support!

The deadline is Tuesday, Feb 2 at 9am. Sorry for the late notice, but the legislative season moves fast! I didn't have much notice either. :)

Thank you! Be well.

Nella Mae
How to Submit Testimony online
Info from the Farmers Market Fund

Please submit by 9 am Tuesday, February 2nd. We would greatly appreciate it if you send a copy of your testimony to Molly,

Due to the online nature of this Legislative Session, the process for submitting written testimony has changed from in previous years. You must now submit your testimony online.


Select  Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health, & Recovery from the first drop-down menu
Select 2/2/2021 3:15 pm from the second drop-down menu
Select SB 440
and THEN redo the whole process with SB 555 -

It's not possible to select two bills to submit testimony at the same time; once you select one you can't select another. So you’ll need to submit the testimony for one bill, go back, select the other bill and re-submit the same thing.

I had trouble submitting "text testimony" in the online form, so I suggest using the "upload as a PDF" option instead.  (You can "save as" or "export" a Word document at a PDF, FYI. Explanation here. :)
Your grateful farmer, Nella Mae
Double Up Food Bucks cards from the La Grande Farmers Market.
My Letter supporting Double Up Food Bucks

Chair Gelser and Members of the Committee,

My name is Nella Mae Parks, and I am a farmer in Cove, northeast Oregon. I am writing to request your support for SB 440 & 555.

SB 555 and SB 440 support the expansion of Double Up Food Bucks Oregon, a SNAP incentive program with a proven record of success. For every dollar spent on SNAP-eligible foods at participating farmers markets, farm share programs, and grocery stores across the state, shoppers will receive a dollar to spend on Oregon-grown fruits and vegetables.

This program is important to me for two main reasons. First, it increases access to fresh, locally grown food for my neighbors, and second, it increases sales for my farm.

I accept hundreds of dollars of Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) each Saturday at the La Grande Farmers Market. Shoppers who use their Oregon Trail EBT card also get a $10 match at each market to buy more produce grown by local farmers and ranchers like me. Just like the Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program, Double Up Food Bucks help food benefit dollars recirculate more times in our rural community than if they were spent at a big box store. My business directly benefits from DUFB purchases. My employees benefit too because of the income the program brings to my business.

The impact of DUFB is not small. At our medium-sized, 5-month long market, shoppers use over $10,000 per year in DUFB to buy healthy, local produce. This money benefits many farms in my county and region and can make or break a slow day at the market. Furthermore, the DUFB program results in higher Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, aka food stamps) spending at our market as well. Double Up Food Bucks is both an incentive to shop at our market and a welcome sign showing our community we really want everyone to shop with us.

The La Grande Farmers Market started our Double Up Food Bucks program about four years ago
. In the first two years we received grant funding for the $10 matches. The program was so popular and so well supported by all shoppers at the market, we were able to fundraise about $10,000 per year from grants and local donations for the last two years to support the program. However, the grant funding is not sustainable for the long term.
SB 555 and SB 440 would assure the long-term sustainability of the DUFB program for our market and our shoppers. Double Up Food Bucks is not a complicated or convoluted safety net program--it directly addresses food insecurity and nutrition by putting dollars in the hands of folks who need them and directing them towards the purchase of healthy, fresh food from local farmers and ranchers...Click here to read the rest!
Copyright ©2017 Nella Mae's Farm, LLC, All rights reserved.

Nella Mae Parks (she/her)
Nella Mae's Farm
69361 Antles Lane
Cove, OR 97824

Land Acknowledgement: I live on the Native lands of the Cayuse, Umatilla & Walla Walla past and present and honor with gratitude the land itself and its people.

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Nella Mae's Farm · 69361 Antles Lane · Cove, OR 97824 · USA

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