Making Fresh, Local Food Affordable: Double Up Food Bucks NY Program Expands to Market in the Square & Giant Food Marts

In the photo, from left: Allegany County Legislature Chairman W. Brooke Harris from Alfred, NY State Senator George Borrello, Giant Food Mart Owner Nick Kusmierski, Wellsville Mayor Randy Shayler, and Double Up Food Bucks Program Director Joshua McGuire.

We’re excited to announce a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to making fresh, local food more accessible and affordable for SNAP shoppers. The Market in the Square and Giant Food Mart have partnered with us to bring the Double Up Food Bucks NY program to four new locations across New York State:

  1. The Market in the Square – 535 Division St, North Tonawanda, NY 14120
  2. The Market in the Square – 940 Union Road, West Seneca, NY 14224
  3. Giant Food Marts – 44 Park Avenue, Wellsville, NY 14895
  4. Giant Food Marts – 72 Genesee St, Cuba, NY 14727

The Market in the Square and Giant Food Mart are the first grocery retailers in their communities to offer this program. This expansion marks a significant step forward in our mission to address food insecurity and promote healthier eating habits in communities across the state. Through innovative technology solutions, we can offer the program without a sign-up and with the ease of a coupon.

Here’s how the program works:

When customers purchase fresh produce using their SNAP card at any of these locations, they automatically receive a $1 for $1 match on their purchase, up to $5 per day, that can be redeemed for additional fresh fruits and vegetables. The coupon prints at the bottom of the receipt, and customers can earn up to $5 per day at The Market in the Square and Giant Food Marts locations. Plus, these coupons can be saved over multiple purchases for future transactions, providing ongoing support for nutritious food choices.

One key aspect of this program is our commitment to sourcing more of our produce from local farmers. By partnering with local growers, we not only support the regional economy but also ensure that our customers have access to the freshest, highest-quality fruits and vegetables.

To celebrate the launch, we were joined by City, County, and State representatives. We’re proud to share that the Double Up Food Bucks has received bipartisan support in the NYS Legislature for the last three years. This support underscores the importance of initiatives like ours in addressing food insecurity, supporting NY farmers, and promoting public health.

Double Up Food Bucks NY is a statewide nutrition incentive program that matches SNAP purchases at participating farmers markets, mobile markets, farm stands, and retail grocery sites.

“Our commitment to promoting healthier eating habits extends beyond offering this incentive. We are dedicated to supporting local farmers and showcasing the best produce Niagara County has to offer.” Owners Brian and Nick Kusmierski expressed their enthusiasm for the program and the opportunity to feature locally sourced fruits and vegetables in our produce department.

We’re excited to embark on this journey to make fresh, healthy food more accessible to everyone in our communities. Together, we can make a positive impact on public health and food security in New York state. Let’s make healthy eating a reality for all!

Double Up Food Bucks NY Launches at ACME Markets Making Fresh Produce More Affordable

Double Up Food Bucks NY Launches at ACME Markets Making Fresh Produce More Affordable

Field & Fork Network is pleased to announce the launch of Double Up Food Bucks NY at ACME Markets at 660 McLean Ave, Yonkers, NY 10704. This is the first grocery store to offer Double Up Food Bucks NY in Westchester County.

Double Up Food Bucks NY, a nutrition incentive program, increases food security and improves nutrition security by offering SNAP shoppers a $1 for $1 match on purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables, up to $5 per day at this and other large grocery locations. Field & Fork Network worked closely with Westchester County, The City of Yonkers, the United Way of Westchester and Putnam, and Feeding Westchester to identify a retail store location that would have the greatest benefit for residents. These partnerships have been integral to ensuring the availability and impact of the program.

ACME Markets presented an opportunity to enhance fresh produce accessibility for local residents with the implementation of an innovative solution for offering Double Up Food Bucks at the store. SNAP shoppers will now automatically receive a $5 Double Up Food Bucks coupon every time they purchase at least $5.00 of fresh fruits and vegetables with their EBT card (electronic benefits transfer, where SNAP funds are stored). This automated solution makes the program accessible for all SNAP shoppers, reducing barriers and increasing the overall equity and reach of the program to help benefit more members of the community. To receive the automated coupon, shoppers must simply have an ACME Markets loyalty card and use SNAP benefits at the register when purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables.

“We are thrilled to be working with ACME Markets to bring Double Up Food Bucks to the Yonkers community. By having our program available in grocery stores, we are able to reach many more SNAP shoppers, making healthy foods more affordable and accessible,” said Lisa French, Co-Founder and CEO of Field & Fork Network.

“ACME is honored to amplify this program in our stores,” states Dana Ward, Director of Communications & Public Affairs for the Mid-Atlantic Division. “Double Up Food Bucks allows us to better service our customers and honor their healthy purchases. We are grateful for our partnership with Field and Fork for allowing us to help make healthy foods more affordable.”

NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Ensuring access to nutritious food is a cornerstone of building thriving communities. I am proud that Double Up Food Bucks NY, our statewide incentive program, is working to address food insecurity in Westchester. By providing affordable, fresh produce through innovative solutions, we empower individuals and families to make healthier choices. This initiative underscores our commitment to ensuring all New Yorkers have access to nutritious options, laying the groundwork for a stronger, more resilient community.”

Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow said, “Access to nutritious food is not just a basic necessity; it’s a fundamental right. By prioritizing initiatives that ensure every New Yorker has access to healthy meals, we not only alleviate immediate hunger but also lay the foundation for a stronger, more resilient community. I am pleased to hear that Double Up Food Bucks NY is taking on the challenge to assist in closing the food insecurity gap within our state.”

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “The Double Up Food Bucks program expands the purchasing power of SNAP recipients, enabling them to purchase more healthy, fresh produce for themselves and their families, while also supporting local economies and farms. We are grateful for our growing partnership with Field & Fork Network, which supports our core mission to help New Yorkers meet their essential needs and strengthens Governor Hochul’s work to expand access to affordable, nutritious, locally grown food in underserved communities across the state.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “We want to make sure that no one in Westchester goes hungry. And with food cost inflation and the end of enhanced COVID help for SNAP recipients, it’s important that we help those in need with access to fresh healthy food to feed their families. I want to thank our state and federal partners for funding this program and Field & Fork Network and ACME Markets for bringing it to Westchester County, and I hope we’ll be able to expand it to more markets in Westchester to provide the help that people need.”

Mayor of Yonkers, Mike Spano, said “Food insecurity was brought to the forefront during the pandemic. As we continue to navigate beyond it, the need to access healthy meals and fresh produce remains a top priority for many of our local families. Double Up Food Bucks is an incentive for SNAP shoppers to be able to provide for their families and I’m thrilled the pilot program started here in Yonkers. It’s critical we support our families with basic needs to improve their quality of life.”

Tom Gabriel, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam, said, “Double Up Food Bucks is an invaluable resource for our neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet and want to provide nutritious food for their families, and we are proud to partner with Field & Fork Network and ACME Markets on this critical program.”

Monique Marshall MS, RDN, CD-N, Manager, Nutrition Resource at Feeding Westchester said, “Feeding Westchester is proud to partner with Field & Fork, Westchester County, The City of Yonkers and the United Way of Westchester and Putnam County to introduce Double Up Food Bucks New York in our County. 1 in 3 Westchester households are at risk of hunger and this initiative responds to the critical need, especially in providing access to healthy necessities like fresh fruits and vegetables. Despite the essential support offered by SNAP, the benefits often do not fully cover the nutritional needs of families. Feeding Westchester advocates for an increased minimum SNAP benefit and Double Up Food Bucks will increase the spending power of those benefits.”

“Benefits programs like Double Up Food Bucks are a true two-for-one deal: they reduce hunger and improve health,” said Julia McCarthy, Senior Program Officer at the New York Health Foundation. “We are thrilled to support Field & Fork Network’s efforts to expand Double Up Food Bucks to reach more New Yorkers with food benefits that are convenient to use.”

How the Program Works:

  • When customers spend $5 or more on fresh produce using their SNAP card, they will receive a $5 dollar coupon that can be redeemed for any eligible Double Up Food Bucks eligible item (fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables).
  • Coupons are printed at the bottom of the receipt.
  • Customers can earn up to $5/day at this location. Coupons may be saved over multiple purchases to use on future transactions.
  • Customers must have an ACME Market loyalty account to participate.
    Double Up Food Bucks coupons expire after 60 days, allowing the program to work flexibly and meet individual needs.

ACME Markets is located at 660 McLean Ave in Yonkers, NY. The store is open Monday-Sunday from 6am-11pm.

2024 DOUBLE UP FOOD BUCKS NY SEASON APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN FOR FARMERS MARKETS, FARM STANDS & MOBILE MARKETS

Our 2024 Double Up Food Bucks NY season applications for farmers markets, farm stands and mobile market applications are live!

Field & Fork Network and Double Up Food Bucks NY are seeking applications for the 2024 Double Up Food Bucks NY Market Season, running from July 1, 2024 through October 31, 2024. New York State farmers markets, mobile markets, and farm stands that accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) benefits are eligible to apply.

Returning market? Check your email to find our abbreviated renewal form for returning sites.

Are you a market that has never run DUFB before?
Apply Here – https://forms.office.com/r/MBK9U6u4uX

About Double Up Food Bucks

Double Up Food Bucks NY is a nutrition incentive program operated by Field & Fork Network, a nonprofit organization focused on fostering innovative solutions for the creation of sustainable food systems.

The Double Up Food Bucks NY program provides individuals and families who use SNAP benefits with a dollar-for-dollar match for the purchase of healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Since piloting Double Up Food Bucks NY at seven Western New York farmers markets in 2014, Field & Fork Network has expanded the Double Up Food Bucks NY program to more than 220 access locations across 32 counties.

Here’s how Double Up Food Bucks NY works:

  • $1 for $1 match on SNAP eligible purchases, up to $20 per day, to purchase fresh local fruits & vegetables
  • SNAP shoppers can sign up for the program at the market’s SNAP tent. When they receive their SNAP tokens, they are matched with silver Double Up Food Bucks tokens, turning $20 into $40 to spend at your vendors booths.
  • Program is offered from July 1, 2024 through October 31, 2024

Benefits of participating in Double Up Food Bucks NY:

  • Free for farmers markets, farm stands and mobile markets to participate in
  • Free for customers to participate in
  • Attract new SNAP shoppers while also retaining your existing SNAP shoppers
  • Diversified income stream for the market and vendors
  • Training and tools to operate the program, as well as marketing support

Market eligibility requirements:

  • The market must accept SNAP benefits with a SNAP Permit Number from USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), a point-of-sale device, and SNAP currency in their possession.
  • The market must demonstrate sufficient organizational capacity to handle associated accounting and reporting for the Double Up Food Bucks NY program.
  • The market must have support to participate in the program from the fiduciary organization (if different from the market organization).
  • The market must have a designated market manager or staff person responsible for the implementation of the Double Up Food Bucks NY program.
  • Markets must be located in New York State.
  • Markets located within the New York City limits are not eligible to participate.

Questions?

Any questions can be directed to Chloe Cabrera at ccabrera@fieldandforknetwork.com.

Where to apply?

Applications will be accepted between February 1, 2024 and March 31, 2024.

Returning market? Check your email to find our abbreviated renewal form for returning sites.

Are you a market that has never run DUFB before? Apply Here – https://forms.office.com/r/MBK9U6u4uX

Double Up Food Bucks NY Pilots With Tops Friendly Markets Making Fresh Local Food More Affordable

Field & Fork Network is proud to announce an exciting partnership with Tops Friendly Markets to pilot their Double Up Food Bucks NY program at two Tops locations: 1275 Jefferson Ave in Buffalo, NY, and the 1000 Portage Road in Niagara Falls, NY. This innovative program aims to increase access to fresh produce and make it more affordable for individuals with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by providing a $1 for $1 match on produce purchases (up to $5 per day).

Continue reading

New Partnership Brings Fresh Food Fellows: Urban Agriculture Entrepreneurship Program to Buffalo Youth

Groundwork Buffalo, Field & Fork Network and Grassroots Gardens are pleased to announce the Fresh Food Fellows: Urban Agriculture Entrepreneurship Program, a paid job training opportunity and certification program for Buffalo youth that will prepare the next generation of food and agriculture industry professionals for the workforce.

Over the course of six months, participants will gain employable and transferable job skills by learning how to grow, cultivate and sell produce in an urban environment. They will also accrue firsthand job experience through employment in real markets and receive ongoing support for career development.

“Our program aims to increase awareness of opportunities in the growing agricultural sector as well as create new opportunities within the local food system to support community health. This certification program frames urban agriculture as an entrepreneurial endeavor and will help to develop a new generation of food and agriculture professionals in Buffalo, generating a pipeline of skilled labor that connects youth to real job opportunities in the city and region,” said Antonina Simeti, executive director of Groundwork Buffalo.

The program, which will kick off in late March and run through August, brings three organizations together in partnership. Groundwork Buffalo will lead recruitment and program oversight efforts and connect the fellows to other youth and opportunities within their broader Green Team Youth Program; Field and Fork Network will adapt their Fresh Food Fellows educational curriculum to conduct classroom workshops on personal goal setting, resume writing, interview skills, workplace management, and business planning; and Grassroots Gardens will train participants in the cultivation, construction and operation of a market garden and farm stand.

“The Fresh Food Fellows project allows us to work collaboratively to create a partnership that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each of our organizations works to strengthen the local food system and urban agriculture landscape in complimentary ways, from the perspectives of land use, access, nutrition and community engagement, and this project allows us to bring our collective areas of expertise together to share with and empower youth,” said Melissa Fratello, executive director of Grassroots Gardens. “Market gardens are a unique tool to introduce participants to agriculture on an urban scale, while serving the needs of the community.”

Groundwork Market Garden, an urban farm that provides community members with organic, nutrient-rich produce to promote greater health and a connection to the local food system, and the African Heritage Co-operative Mobile Market, a membership-based co-op that helps the local community take ownership of its food and provide employment opportunities for itself, will act as employer partners. Youth will intern one to two days a week at these sites during the summer work portion of the program. Delavan-Grider Community Center will provide classroom space and serve as a home base for a new, nearby market garden.

The program is made possible by a two-year Green Jobs For Youth grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which aims to serve communities that face environmental justice and unemployment challenges.

Interested youth can find more information and learn how to apply for the program by contacting Johnnie Fenderson at jfenderson@gwbuffalo.org. The deadline for applications is Thursday, March 8, 2018.

Holistic health in WNY takes several forms

A holistic approach to health includes better nutrition. Field & Fork Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program, a dollar-for-dollar match on fresh fruits and vegetables for those on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), helps low-income households bring home more fruits and vegetables — which in turn promotes better nutrition.

“Families are eating more healthy food as a result of the program,” said Lisa Tucker French, cofounder and executive director. “Ultimately, we’re making fresh, local food more accessible and more affordable.”

Click here to read more about how the New York State Health Foundation is supporting programs like Double Up that tackle health outside of just the doctor’s office.

Field & Fork Network Joins National Partners for Continued Growth and Innovation of Double Up Food Bucks Program

New Federal and Private Support Fuels Growth of SNAP Incentives, Increasing Healthy Food Access
and Supporting Farmers.

Buffalo, N.Y. August 11, 2017 – Field & Fork Network announced today it will be partnering with Fair Food Network and Live Well Colorado to expand and innovate the Double Up Food Bucks produce incentive program across Western New York.

Double Up Food Bucks boosts the value of SNAP (formerly known as “food stamps”) when spent on fruits and vegetables. For instance, if a family spends $10 in SNAP benefits at a farmers market, they receive $10 in Double Up Food Bucks to buy locally grown produce.

“Having the resources to continue the expansion of Double Up is a great benefit to this community. Not only does it increase access and affordability of fresh produce for low-income individuals and families, it also helps redirect federal food assistance dollars back into our local agriculture community. A definite win-win!” said Lisa French, Co-founder and Executive Director of Field & Fork Network.

This new funding will allow for continued program growth and innovation with a focus on:

  • Grocery expansion in Western New York. While SNAP incentives began in farmers markets, grocery is a critical venue to reach more consumers year-round.
  • Technology innovations:
    • E-incentives: Until recently, most farmers markets processed incentives with physical tokens. New electronic transaction technologies will be deployed at select farmers markets.
    • Interoperability: In select Western New York communities, shoppers will be able to earn Double Up Food Bucks at one site and redeem them at a different location. This technology was developed in Flint, Michigan to help residents get more fresh produce in response to the water crisis.

Support for this work is being provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food & Agriculture, by the New York State Health Foundation and by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in partnership with Fair Food Network.

This builds on a foundation of support provided over the years by the John R. Oishei Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, East Hill Foundation, Grigg Lewis Foundation, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, First Niagara Foundation, Univera Healthcare and the Garman Family Fund.

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Field & Fork Network is a food and farming organization dedicated to building a thriving regional food system in Western New York by creating more economic opportunities for local agriculture and by providing greater access to fresh, local foods.

2017 Double Up Food Bucks Season Underway

Field & Fork Network is thrilled to kick off the fourth season of our Double Up Food Bucks program! Double Up Food Bucks is a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) incentive that increases access to fresh, healthy foods for low-income consumers by matching federal food assistance benefits $1 for $1. The 2017 season will include more than 90 sites across 11 Western New York counties and will include the cities of Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Rochester. Continued expansion will also diversify the program’s access points to add year-round markets, more seasonal farmers markets, mobile markets and healthy corner stores.

Last week, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited the REAP Olean Farmers Market—a Double Up Food Bucks site—to speak out against proposed cuts to SNAP. Sen. Gillibrand discussed how SNAP helps the Olean farmers’ market and other markets across the country expand their customer base while encouraging people to buy local and eat healthy. You can read more about the senator’s stop at the market here.

For more information on the Double Up Food Bucks, including a map of this season’s participating locations, please visit the program website.