What is SNAP?
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Field & Fork Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that started in 2009. We began administering the Double Up Food Bucks NY program back in 2014 at just seven farmers markets. Since then, more than 274,000 New Yorkers have taken advantage of Double Up Food Bucks NY, with shoppers spending 88% of the Double Up Food Bucks they earn. Given the substantial growth of our operations, we had to seek out additional funding to support our work serving families, farmers, and local communities. In doing so, we amplified our efforts to secure diversified funding via local, state, federal, and philanthropic sources to help keep up with the growth of our program operations. As we near the 10th anniversary of running Double Up Food Bucks NY, the program is more widely used and spread across New York than ever before. As we continue to expand, securing funding is critical to maintain and grow the program, and we need your support to help make that happen!
Unleash the power of this advocacy toolkit! It’s a go-to resource for individuals and organizations, enabling the creation and execution of impactful Double Up Food Bucks NY advocacy campaigns. Join us in boosting food security and fostering sustainable food systems across New York!
According to Feeding America, one in nine adults and one in six children face hunger every day. Recent challenges such as the rising cost of food, record high inflation, and the ending of COVID-era benefits such as SNAP emergency allotments have made food security an even greater issue for New Yorkers. The number of Americans who didn’t have enough to eat over two one-week periods increased by 40.8% between September-October 2021 and September-October 2023, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey. We are facing a hunger crisis- with benefits being cut, inflation showing no signs of slowing, and New Yorkers reporting higher than ever food insufficiency, we need to strengthen our food and nutrition policies to ensure no one goes hungry.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
What is SNAP?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is the largest anti-hunger government assistance program in the United States designed to alleviate food insecurity and improve nutrition among low-income individuals and families. SNAP provides eligible participants with funds to purchase food items, thus enabling them to have access to a balanced and nutritious diet. The program is managed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and operates in collaboration with state agencies.
Nutrition Incentive Programs include Double Up Food Bucks NY
Nutrition Incentives Programs
To enhance the impact of SNAP and promote healthier eating habits, nutrition incentive programs have been developed to complement the program. These programs incentivize participants to purchase more fruits and vegetables by offering additional funds or discounts when they use their SNAP benefits to buy fresh produce. Nutrition incentive programs bridge the affordability gap for healthy foods and encourage participants to make more nutritious choices.
Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program
What is GusNIP?
The federal government provides funding for nutrition incentives through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, otherwise known as GusNIP. This program was originally established in the 2014 Farm Bill and was formerly known as the USDA NIFA Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentives (FINI) grant program, only later to be renamed to the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program in 2019. Since it was established in 2019, the GusNIP program has distributed over $270 million in funding to 197 different projects across the US to help implement innovative solutions to combat food insecurity.
Double Up Food Bucks NY is a statewide nutrition incentive program operating across New York. Double Up Food Bucks NY matches SNAP purchases dollar for dollar, between $5-$20/day, to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables, with an emphasis on local produce. The program is a win-win-win, increasing the accessibility and affordability of local, fresh fruits and vegetables for families, increasing economic opportunities for farmers, and supporting local economies.
Shoppers are spending 87% of their earned Double Up Food Bucks to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, which is 10% higher than the national average.
Watch the program in action in this short, animated video that explains what Double Up Food Bucks NY is, how the program works, and how it benefits families, farmers, and communities.
The Farm Bill is a package of legislation passed roughly every five years that dictates federal nutrition and agriculture spending. Field & Fork Network supports three proposed bills to be included in the next iteration of the Farm Bill:
This bill, introduced by Senator Hirono (D-HI), updates the GusNIP program structure to help existing grantees continue to grow participation and total dollars spent, while giving new grantees more opportunity to establish and grow small to mid-size programs. The bill seeks to increase GusNIP funding to $150 million/year and reduce the federal matching requirement from 50% to 10% for grantees.
This bipartisan bill from Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Dan Kildee (D-MI) seeks to improve and expand the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, namely by reducing the current federal matching requirement from 50% to 20% and by creating a new tier within the program that allows successful programs to scale statewide.
This bicameral legislation from Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) would scale-up GusNIP funding to $3.5 billion over 5 years and further completely eliminate the federal matching requirement for grantees.
These three marker bills will help to expand the impact and reach of already proven and successful nutrition incentive and produce prescription programs across the country, including here in New York State.
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