Clearwater is Montana’s largest Community Development Financial Institution. The event marked the credit union’s 65th year in operation and was a celebration of its mission to be a force for good in banking, in the lives of its members, and in the communities it serves. The donation is intended to combat ongoing food insecurity in vulnerable households and to provide more Montanans with the means to secure healthy, locally sourced produce.
CFAC estimates that 1 in 8 Montanans struggle to afford all the food they need. Even with federal food benefits like SNAP, many families experience food insecurity and often struggle to afford healthy food options like fruits and vegetables. Clearwater’s contribution will support the Double Snap Dollars program administered by CFAC and coordinated in partnership with Farm Hands Nourish the Flathead and NCAT.
With Double Snap Dollars, community members can visit qualifying farmers’ markets and other locations, swipe their EBT card and Double their SNAP matching tokens when they purchase up to $20 a day in fruit and vegetables. The program was established in 2015 and currently has 26 Double SNAP locations across Montana, with plans to expand.
“Currently, 10,000 Missoulians use SNAP to keep food on the table. 65% of SNAP users are families with children, 31% are elderly and disabled, and Missoula is projected to have a 10% increase in food insecurity through 2021,” said Ian Finch, Food Access Program Manager at CFAC. “Clearwater Credit Union’s substantial donation will enable us to grow the program to meet the increased need in our community through expanding the number of matching dollars available at our current locations and piloting the Double SNAP Dollars program in grocery stores in Missoula County.”
As we emerge from the public health crisis, we know that we do so unevenly. Many of our neighbors struggle to provide complete and healthy meals for their families. We are proud to be able to do our small part to lessen this burden. We are proud to partner with CFAC to help our fellow Montanans improve their access to quality, locally grown food.— Jack Lawson, President & CEO of Clearwater Credit Union