MADISON, WI, May 7, 2024 – The American Heart Association presented Senator Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) and Representative Alex Joers (D-Middleton) with a Friend with Heart award for their leadership in creating a statewide Nutrition Incentive Program.

Nutrition Incentive Programs, oftentimes called Double Dollars or Market Match, provide matching dollars to families participating in FoodShare to purchase additional fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets and other healthy food retailers. The program helps families stretch their grocery budget and prioritize buying healthy foods, all while supporting local farmers.

“Eating nutritious food is so important to overall health, and this program will help families struggling financially to access healthy foods, all while supporting local Wisconsin farmers,” said AJ Ross, chair of the American Heart Association’s Wisconsin Advocacy Committee. “We sincerely thank Senator Ballweg and Representative Joers for their leadership and partnership on this legislation.”

Rep. Joers said the passage of this legislation is a “win for everyone.”

“The American Heart Association was a vital partner in getting this legislation across the finish line and I am so grateful for their tireless advocacy,” he said. “With this investment, we have an opportunity to boost local economies, empower local producers, and provide nutrition assistance to our friends and neighbors across Wisconsin. This program is a win for everyone – and I was proud to author this proposal to show cooperation is possible with trust, hard work, and a will to do right by Wisconsinites.”

The American Heart Association would also like to thank Senator Ballweg for her tireless work to extend postpartum healthcare coverage for new moms.

“I would like to thank the American Heart Association for presenting me with the Friend of Heart award,” she said. “I am thankful for this partnership with the Heart Association, working together on legislation to care for Wisconsinites no matter their stage of life. I’m glad the healthy food incentive program bill was signed into law and look forward to continuing our work to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage in the next session.”

Ballweg also co-hosted our annual American Heart Month reception in the Capitol in February. 




About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   


About the American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is a relentless force for a world with fewer strokes and longer, healthier lives. We team with millions of volunteers and donors to ensure equitable health and stroke care in all communities. We work to prevent, treat and beat stroke by funding innovative research, fighting for the public’s health, and providing lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based association was created in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit Follow us on Facebook and X.


Media Inquiries:
Travis Sloan;
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and