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Author: Nichole Borchard

Senator Sue Serino to visit the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market to support Field & Fork Network’s Double Up Food Bucks Program

Senator Sue Serino to visit the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market to support Field & Fork Network’s Double Up Food Bucks Program

SUE SERINO

July 12, 2022

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is pleased to host Senator Sue Serino at its Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market at 3:30 pm on Monday, July 11, 2022, to support the Market’s second year of participation in the Double Up Food Bucks Program (DUFB). DUFB is a program through Field & Fork Network that doubles the amount of money that SNAP EBT card users can use to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables. For every SNAP dollar spent at the Market (up to $20), patrons receive an additional dollar. DUFB at the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market starts July 11th and runs until October 24th .

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum launched the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market in 2017 in response to a community-wide need for greater access to fresh, healthy foods. In doing so, the Museum became the first children’s museum in the country to open a public farmers market as a strategy to reduce food insecurity among its families and within the City of Poughkeepsie. The Market has since expanded its operations to ensure greater availability of farm fresh foods for residents and guests while showcasing the agricultural bounty of local Hudson Valley farms. Field & Fork Network has been a critical partner in further increasing access to fresh produce while offering the opportunity for local farmers and producers to sell more product.

The Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market first utilized the DUFB in 2021, and it has been well received. Market vendors such as Maynard Farms, Dutchess Outreach, and J&J Farms carry products that qualify for DUFB. “SNAP EBT customers are eagerly awaiting the start of the Double Up Food Bucks program. It is such an amazing program. I see firsthand the gratitude and relief people feel when they are given extra dollars to shop with no strings attached,“ says Market Manager, Josephine DaCosta.

“The Double Up Food Bucks Program (DUFB) not only helps connect area families with fresh, healthy food options, it also provides a boost to local growers making it a major win for the Hudson Valley community. We thank the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum for being a great community partner and for working to ensure that the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market continues to be an invaluable resource for our neighbors,” says Senator Sue Serino.

Christine Paris, from Maynard Farms, comments, “As a small, local farm we’re always looking to connect with our community and participate in incentive programs that are offered. We’re especially proud to participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program. Double Up Food Bucks is a great program that helps to expand one’s food budget to encourage more healthy fruits and vegetables, while at the same time supporting local farmers and Farmer’s Markets!”

Families that are not on SNAP, but who were issued a P-EBT card, as part of a pandemic relief package for children in public school for the 2020-2021 school year, can use their P-EBT Cards and receive the benefits the Double Up Food Bucks Program provides. For more information about the Double Up Food Bucks Program visit doubleupnys.com.

About Double Up Food Bucks NY

Double Up Food Bucks NY is a statewide nutrition incentive program, administered by Field & Fork Network that provides SNAP participants with a dollar-for-dollar match to increase affordability and access to fresh healthy foods at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and grocery stores. In New York State, Double Up has contributed to 4.8 million pounds of healthy food sales to over 32,000 customers, at more than 180 sites spanning 28 counties. To learn more about Double Up Food Bucks and a complete list of participating sites, please visit the program website and social media sites, or call 1-800-682- 5016. www.doubleupnys.com | Facebook Instagram

About Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market

The Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market, now in its 6th year, is open to the public and features farm fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, poultry, baked goods, beef, pork, and more. Applications for Summer Vendors are being accepted. The Market is a vibrant, weekly celebration of the Hudson Valley and is under a fully covered, open-air pavilion on the Hudson River. The Market accepts both SNAP and WIC benefits. Eligible market patrons should check in at the Market Manager table for info about SNAP and DUFB benefits. The Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market offers free onsite parking at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum during the Market hours. The Market is held on Monday afternoons from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm in the Pavilion at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, 75 North Water Street in Poughkeepsie. Please note: There is NO market on Monday, July 4th .

For Market updates, events, and follow the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market on Facebook (www.facebook.com/POKWaterfrontMarket) and Instagram (poughkeepsiewaterfrontmarket). For more information on becoming a vendor at the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market visit: www.mhcm.org/visit/poughkeepsie-waterfront-market or email market@mhcm.org. The Poughkeepsie Waterfront

Market is managed by the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum.

Link to original article: https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sue-serino/senator-sue-serino-visit-poughkeepsie-waterfront-market-support

In the News: Dealing with a ‘Food Desert’

Dealing with a ‘food desert’

USA NIAGARA: Expansion of healthy food options in city being explored.

By Philip Gambini philip.gambini@niagara-gazette.com

Jan 5, 2019

Officials at the state-run agency that typically focuses on property acquisition and corporate assistance are also considering healthy food options as an economic tool.

Staff at USA Niagara Development Corp. are in the preliminary stages of exploring an incentivized food purchasing policy with an aim to encourage large institutions and businesses to provide nutritious offerings bought from local providers.

Rob Sozanski, an associate planner and project manager with the USAN, has briefed the Niagara Falls City Council on the policy idea as part of an action plan developed by a mayoral task force. The plan was endorsed by lawmakers in December.

“We have a really robust agricultural landscape in Niagara County,” he said.

The policy idea is an outgrowth of Mayor Paul Dyster’s Healthy Food, Healthy People Task Force, which covered multiple local stakeholders to contemplate solutions to various food-related issues. Laura Magee, a spokesperson for USAN, said similar policies have been successful elsewhere in the country.

“By increasing procurement/purchasing from Western New York farmers and producers, these institutions and businesses may be able to generate positive economic and workforce impacts while providing fresh, high-quality food to local customers, students and patients,” she said.

Tom Lowe, the director of Niagara University’s ReNU Niagara program, described the larger food action plan as a “guiding document.” It enacts no official measures and will require the work of others to implement its ideas.

According to the document, among the most pressing issues – and one that has been talked about in the city for sometime – is the existence of a “food desert” in the the Falls’s North End. The term refers to a general lack of access to fresh food within walking distance of a given community.

Alex Wright, a leader with the African Heritage Food Co-op, was involved with the plan and sees his organization as a way to address the lack of access.

But Wright prefers to call it by another name, “food apartheid,” due to what he told the Niagara Gazette earlier this year was the purposeful divestment of resources in black and brown communities across the country.

The absence of healthy food options helps generate “higher rates of diabetes, hypertension (and) high blood pressure” in minority communities, Wright said.

“It will solve the problem of people having to travel 30 to 45 minutes to get fresh fruits and vegetables,” he said.

Wright said the group made its first hire late last year in what he expects will be a group of 35 local employees in the next two years.

 

Link to the original article: https://www.niagara-gazette.com/news/local_news/dealing-with-a-food-desert/article_ac5caff3-01da-523f-829a-95ef223f6499.html

Double Your Produce Dollars

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For our Price Tracker series, we’re continuing to track the prices of five items at five stores across Western New York.

We’re tracking the price of:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • a dozen eggs
  • a gallon of 2% milk
  • white bread
  • toilet paper

You can track the changes we’re seeing by looking at the graphs here. We add data every week.

This week, we’ve found one way for some people to double their fresh fruits and vegetables budget. The Double Up Food Bucks program allows SNAP recipients to stretch their food dollars at participating stores and farmer’s markets. The Lexington Co-op is one store that will double your dollars on almost all fruits and veggies.

“It is so important. Fresh, local, healthy foods need to be on everyone’s table not to mention low income families tables,” said Jennifer White from the Co-op. “You can match up to 10 dollars every single day. You can come in every day and get fresh produce.”

Many local farmers markets also offer to double up food bucks for SNAP recipients. To find locations near you, you can go to the Double Up Food Bucks website and type in your zipcode.

Another way anyone can cut costs at the grocery store is by couponing. You’d be surprised how much you can save spending five minutes clipping – especially if you double coupons and shop sales.

Original Story Aired on WKBW-News Channel 7

Written By: Katie Morse

Food for Life

Twelve weeks of real-life experience came to an end this week for 12 Niagara Falls High School students who participated in the Food Pathways program as part of the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan.

The program, coordinated through Field & Fork network used curriculum developed by Niagara University’s Global Tourism Institute and concluded with a lunch at the TreC Center on Thursday.

The students learned about technical aspects of the food system as well as the soft skills needed to get and hold a job.

Some of the sites visited included DiCamillos Bakery, Johnnie Ryan’s Beverages, Arrowhead Springs Vineyard, Becker Farms and Rich Products. The graduation ceremony of sorts was held at the TreC Center where students sat with mentors with whom they were paired because of a particular shared interest.

Tom Lowe is Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan Project Director for Field & Fork

“Everywhere we went, the speakers asked the students ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ ” Lowe said. At first it seemed trite. Something changed along the way.

“As it went on, answers evolved,” Lowe said. “To see that evolution was kind of exciting.”

Francesca DiCamillo said she enrolled in the program without a great sense of direction.

“I appreciated getting to know all the businesses because it’s important to support small businesses rather than big ones” she said.

Niagara Falls School Superintendent Mark Laurrie made a surprise appearance and looked around the room to see not only current students but former ones.

“This is the way we are going to change things,” he said. “Through you to someone next to you.”

One of the familiar faces he saw was that of ShaTaura Holland, a Niagara Falls High School graduate who was there when he was principal and today runs KCARMA NY apparel. KCARMA is an acronym for “keeping character respecting morals always.”

She looked across the gathered students with envy.

“I wish that we had a program like this when I was in school,” she said. “To teach about credit, to teach about business, how to pay bills, it is really a stepping stone to reality.”

One of Holland’s successes so far was selling hoodies to Falls students touring historical Black Colleges and Universities.

John Osberg, a Niagara Falls native was there as a mentor representing his business, Power of Ozmosis Consulting. He offered one brief piece of advice to the students.

“Of yourself, and all those around you, remove judgment and give grace” he said.

Original Story in the Niagara Gazette

Written by Joe Genco

Grocer’s Program Underscores Food Inequities

Original Story in the Register Star

Rolling Grocer 19, a full-service grocery store in downtown Hudson, will start providing people on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits with a $1-for-$1 match on purchases of fruits and vegetables up to $20 per day.

The New York-based nonprofit Field and Fork Network announced a $5,000 donation to a nationwide food incentive program called Double Up Food Bucks to help jumpstart Rolling Grocer’s participation in the incentive program. The grant is supported with funding from the Fresh and Healthy Food for All Initiative of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

The money will help SNAP users obtain healthy foods at Rolling Grocer 19, a nonprofit store that uses a sliding-scale, fair-pricing system, allowing shoppers to pay based on their annual salary.

“Our customers light up when they learn they won’t have to choose between meat for the week and fresh produce,” said Selha Graham, project manager for Rolling Grocer 19. “It allows them to access healthy foods and still afford their essentials.”

According to research conducted by Field and Fork Network, the number of grocery stores in Columbia County has decreased by 20% over the last decade. Also, more than 11% of Columbia County’s estimated 63,000 residents live in poverty, with nearly one in 10 lacking sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food.

“This grant is an investment in health because it makes fresh produce more accessible,” said Lisa French, executive director of Field and Fork Network. “It’s an investment in farmers because they can sell more of the goods they grow. And it’s an investment in families so they, and their communities, can thrive.” Double Up Food Bucks started at seven farmers markets in 2014, offering SNAP users an opportunity to double their grocery money for the specific purchasing of fruits and vegetables.

The program has grown to serve more than 32,000 SNAP users across 29 counties, generating $4.8 million in healthy food sales. “Access to healthy foods is so important and will only become more important going forward,” said Frances McGuire, program manager for Double Up Food Bucks. “One of the biggest barriers facing low-income families is affordability of produce, especially local produce.”

Disparities in healthy food access in low-income neighborhoods is well-studied in communities across the nation. Researchers at Yale University found that healthy foods are significantly less available to low-income families.

In the Hudson Valley, a visit to a farm stand with organic vegetables illuminates this stark divide. Fresh produce is more expensive than the dollar-value menu at a fast-food chain. Access to healthy foods support a person’s overall wellbeing mentally, physically and emotionally. Double Up Food Bucks has now made it possible for SNAP users to have double the access to fresh produce.

“It gives people a choice during difficult times,” McGuire said. SNAP users can sign up for the program at Rolling Grocer 19 located at 6 S. Second St in Hudson. McGuire confirmed that the program will exist in perpetuity at Rolling Grocer.

The Hudson Valley 360 also ran an editorial piece.

Double Up Food Bucks NY Included in 2023 NYS Budget

Nutrition Incentive Program included in NYS Budget

Double Up Food Bucks Receives Support from New York State

$2 Million allocated in 2023 Budget for healthy food incentive program

 Field & Fork Network and the American Heart Association are pleased to announce, for the first time in the program’s history, its inclusion in the New York State Budget. Double Up Food Bucks NY received bipartisan support for the $2 Million allocation; this funding will allow the statewide program to expand services to approximately 100,000 SNAP recipients and an opportunity to leverage an additional $2Million in federal funding, going directly to New York farmers, small businesses, and local economies.

Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) is a national nutrition incentive program operated by the Field & Fork Network, that matches SNAP eligible purchases $1 for $1, up to $20 per day, to purchase local fruits and vegetables. This state funding is an investment in health because it makes fresh produce more accessible. It’s an investment in farmers because they can sell more of the goods they grow. And it’s an investment in families so they, and their communities, can thrive. Since 2014, DUFB NY has served over 32,000 SNAP households, across 29 countries, generating over $4.8 Million in healthy food sales.

“We’re thankful for the state’s support and lucky to have lawmakers who champion innovative ways to make a real difference for people in their districts,” said Lisa French, Executive Director of Field & Fork Network. “The state funding will allow us to bring an additional $4M into the state, expand into underserved communities and operate in more year-round locations.”

“The American Heart Association has been proud to assist Field & Fork Network with new locations, community outreach and education,” said Brianna Durkee, New York State Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association. ‘This program will help reduce nutrition insecurity and disparities in finding healthy food across the state. We are grateful to all the participants in the program and are glad that Gov. Hochul and state legislators are making this investment in the health of all New Yorkers.”

Since 2014, Double Up Food Bucks NY has been supported by federal funding through the USDA’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, with an equal match coming from corporate and private funders across the state. Over the last two years, as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, program participation skyrocketed. Supply chains were strained, food costs increased, and food insecurity reached an all-time high. Double Up became a necessary resource to help people stretch their food budget. To meet the needs of New Yorkers, state support was required.

“I was proud to be part of the bi-partisan effort to champion Double Up Food Bucks NY in the state budget. This state support will leverage $2 million in federal funding so SNAP recipients can purchase healthy food and boost local economies. As Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am always looking for opportunities to put local produce on the tables of New Yorkers. Double Up Food Bucks does that. It ensures families in need have access to fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables while supporting our farmers and small businesses,” said Sen. George M. Borrello, 57th Senate District

Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “As the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I was proud to work with my colleagues to champion statewide funding for Double Up Food Bucks in this year’s budget – an impactful program that helps SNAP-eligible families stretch their dollar further towards the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. This program not only lessens barriers to healthy food access but keeps food dollars local and supports the small New York farms responsible for growing the high-quality produce that every New Yorker deserves.”

“Local and organic food options are an important resource for preventing food insecurity amongst vulnerable members of our community. It is essential that those in need of support have access to affordable options for healthy and nutritious food in their neighborhoods. These investments will ensure that we provide for our low-income residents while also delivering direct support to small businesses, farmers, and the local economy. I am glad that we were successful in securing funding for this important benefit to thousands of New Yorkers. I want to thank the Field & Fork Network and my state colleagues for demonstrating their support for underserved communities, together we are making a difference throughout New York State.” -Assemblymember Demond Meeks

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, “Access to fresh, healthy, and nutritious food is vital for some of our most vulnerable fellow New Yorkers. Double Up Food Bucks NY incentivizes such purchases from New York farmers by doubling the purchasing power of SNAP benefits at select locations. We are excited to be working with Field & Fork Network on this effort and look forward to helping this important program grow to serve more SNAP households.”

“Double Up Food Bucks has been a unifier from the start,” said Lisa French, Executive Director, Field & Fork Network. “It brings together farmers and families. It brings together communities. And as we’ve seen again this year, it brings together legislators from both sides of the aisle. We look forward to continuing and deepening our partnership with the state.”

We’re Hiring a Summer Intern! Communications Content Creator

The Communications Content Creator will assist and support marketing & communications strategy by creating exciting and dynamic content to promote our work and bring our mission to life. You will leave this internship with tangible work that you can add to your resume or portfolio.

·       Assist in supporting and influencing our digital voice as it relates to our communications and marketing strategies.

·       Research, create, and publish stories and communications content as related to our work.

·       Manage updates to our website, newsletter, and other communications content creation as assigned.

·       Integrate innovative ideas into our Communications Strategic Plan

·       Work in partnership with our team to modify current marketing/digital tools to advance our organization’s digital footprint

·       Help maintain, promote, and develop mission-focused communications which will impact all stakeholders

·       Creating and publishing content on multiple brands and social media channels, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Qualifications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Working knowledge of photo editing software
  • Must be highly self-motivated, organized, self-directed, and quick to respond to rapidly changing assignments
  • Ability to work via computer, telephone, and virtually
  • We prefer, but do not require, some relevant experience with nonprofit organizations
  • Create and design video assets including animated social posts, short documentaries, etc

 

About Field & Fork Network:

 

Field & Fork Network is a New York State food and farming non-profit organization that connects communities to innovative solutions that foster a sustainable food system. Our work focuses on four important areas: agriculture economic development, food access, youth development and healthy neighborhoods. www.fieldandforknetwork.com

 

About Double Up Food Bucks NY:

 

One of Field & Fork Network’s core programs is Double Up Food Bucks NY, a nutrition incentive program, that offers SNAP users a $1 for $1 match on fresh local produce. The program operates across NY state at grocery stores, farmers markets, mobile markets, corner stores and farm stands. The internship would focus 80% of the time on advancing this program. www.doubleupnys.com

Position: Communications Content Creator Internship (June-August)

Please send resume and cover letter to Nichole Borchard, Communications & Partnerships Manager, nborchard@fieldandforknetwork.com

Congressman Higgins Announces $3 Million in USDA Funding Awarded to Field & Fork Network

Congressman Higgins Announces $3 Million in USDA Funding Awarded to Field & Fork Network
Funding Improves Access to Fresh, Local Produce & Improves Technology Associated with SNAP Benefits

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined Field & Fork Network and FeedMore WNY at OLV Human Services to announce a four-year federal grant totaling $3,077,153. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and awarded through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, the grant supports initiatives to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables available to low-income families, tribal communities, and other at-risk communities. This USDA investment directly serves members of the Western New York Community.

“Too many families live in food deserts or find the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables unaffordable on a tight budget,” said Congressman Higgins. “This federal investment ensures that families have affordable access to produce, along with the flexibility to purchase healthy food at a variety of community grocers. Beyond addressing immediate needs related to food insecurity, this initiative has lasting benefits which will over time improve health and education outcomes for families in underserved communities.”

“By design, the Double Up Food Bucks program is an innovative way to address food insecurity in our communities by making fresh produce not only more accessible but also more affordable. SNAP shoppers can stretch their food dollars further with the Double Up match, bringing home more healthy food for themselves and their families. We are grateful for the ongoing investment the USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture has made in our program. These federal resources are critical and ensure we can implement the program in those communities that need it the most”, states Lisa French, Executive Director of Field & Fork Network

This multi-year grant supports Field & Fork Network’s Double Up Food Bucks New York State: Innovating Technologies and Expanding Geographies program; a nutrition incentive program that matches the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits dollar for dollar. SNAP provides thousands of nutritionally vulnerable New Yorkers with fresh, healthy foods. The Double Up program specifically applies to fresh fruits and vegetables. Making nutritious foods more affordable and accessible to low-income families, the program is offered at farmers markets, mobile markets, as well as small retail and grocery sites across urban, suburban, and rural communities. Field & Fork Network will expand this program into grocery stores, allowing SNAP shoppers more choice in where they buy their food. Overall, they intended to expand the Double Up program to 45 New York counties by 2024.

One of the newest markets to accept Double Up Food Bucks is FeedMore WNY’s Farm Market. Field & Fork and FeedMore WNY have partnered to launch the Double Up program on FeedMore WNY’s mobile Farm Market trucks, which provide fresh, low-cost fruits and vegetables to community members through convenient stops across FeedMore WNY’s service area.

“FeedMore WNY is thrilled to partner with Field & Fork Network to introduce the Double Up Food Bucks Program at the FeedMore WNY Farm Market. Our Farm Market trucks provide fresh and extremely affordable produce to community members who may otherwise lack access to fruits and vegetables,” Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY, said. “Thanks to the Double Up Food Bucks Program, made possible through Field & Fork, and the efforts of Congressman Higgins, our Farm Market shoppers can make their SNAP benefits go farther and multiply their families’ healthy produce options.”

“We are grateful to Congressman Higgins and our friends at Field & Fork Network and FeedMore WNY for their efforts to make fresh produce more available, accessible and affordable for residents of Lackawanna and other food desert communities,” said Lackawanna Mayor Annette Iafallo. “Through the Double Up Food Bucks Program, shoppers using SNAP benefits will have the additional buying power necessary to bring a greater number and variety of fresh produce options into their household.”
In addition to expanding access to fresh, healthy food, the program seeks to improve the technology associated with SNAP benefits. Originally, SNAP recipients received tokens and paper vouchers, which were redeemed by farmers and easily misplaced or lost. This program implements high-tech systems: one based on Double Up interoperable Fresh Incentives loyal card technology and the other based on grocery store loyalty card programs and point-of-sale systems. Some locations will share information between retail locations owned by the same entity, while others will share information between retail locations, like farmers markets, owned by different entities. The information sharing loyalty card systems eliminate the need to manually input the last eight digits of each SNAP users’ EBT card, enable Field and Ford Network to track customers’ purchases in real time, and provide SNAP users with greater flexibility. Field & Fork Network intends to replicate the success of this technology in Buffalo and in communities across New York State.

This grant program requires an equal dollar in non-federal match funding. The non-federal funding partners for this grant include the following foundations in Western NY: Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, John R. Oishei Foundation, First Niagara Foundation, Western NY Foundation and the Garman Family Fund through the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program allows the Secretary of Agriculture to provide grant funding for projects that increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables in low-income communities. The 2018 Farm Bill authorized the program through 2023, specifically allocating funds to improve access to produce for low-income consumers participating in the SNAP program.

Field & Fork Network connects communities to innovative solutions that foster a sustainable food system. To learn more about Field and Fork, visit http://www.fieldandforknetwork.com/

To Watch the Press Conference Click Here