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!

NY Commits to Expanding Food Access with Bipartisan Support of Double Up Food Bucks NY

Field & Fork Network is excited to announce that the Double Up Food Bucks NY program has received bipartisan support for the third year in a row!

Field & Fork Network applauds Governor Kathy Hochul, the New York State Senate, and New York State Assembly, for their commitment to strengthen our local food system through the investment in Double Up Food Bucks NY. This critical support helps low-income families afford and have access to healthy New York grown fruits & vegetables. Through strategic partnerships with grocery stores like Northeast Grocery (Tops Friendly Markets, Market 32, Price Chopper), New Yorkers can stretch their food budgets, purchase the items that are culturally relevant for their families, with the ease and convenience of a coupon. NY State’s ongoing budget appropriation is vital for Double Up Food Bucks NY to be able to operate in large grocery stores; ensuring the program is offered in an equitable way, reaching more SNAP customers where they shop.

The State funding is also an investment in New York family farms. Field & Fork Network creates economic opportunities for over 400+ family farms across the state, directly distributing $1.5 million in Double Up Food Bucks. These funds help small farms hire new employees, purchase equipment, and reinvest in their business.

Field & Fork Network would like to highlight the work of our champions Senator Michelle Hinchey and Assemblymember Demond Meeks. Without their commitment over the last three years our work would not be possible. Additionally, we’d like to thank our legislative partners Senator Roxanne Persaud, Senator Rachel May, Assemblymember Donna Lupardo, Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, Senator George Borrello and Assemblymember Angelo Morinello. The funding they helped champion in the 2024-25 NYS Budget will be matched with Federal funds from the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, doubling the dollars available to New Yorkers.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic New York State has made significant investments and enacted policy to improve our local food system, however, food Insecurity and nutrition insecurity still plague New Yorkers. A recent NY Health Foundation Report found, that 1 in 10 New Yorkers reported food insufficiency, and that number spiked to 1 in 5 for African Americans and Hispanics. Double Up Food Bucks NY is a program that can help alleviate this burden. We are thankful to our state partners and for heeding our call and recognizing the need to do more.

Ongoing investment in Double Up Food Bucks NY is critical for the program to continue to innovate, sustain, and grow it’s footprint across the state. Additional sites are set to be added in 2024, including additional farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) shares, grocery stores and authorized SNAP online retailers to help meet more customers where they are shopping.

Field & Fork Network would like to personally thank all of the representatives who provided their steadfast support for the Double Up Food Bucks NY program, including:

The Honorable NYS Governor Kathy Hochul
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Senator Michelle Hinchey
Senator Rachel May
Senator Roxanne J. Persaud
Senator Joseph P. Addabbo
Senator George Borrello
Senator Neil D. Breslin
Senator Jabari Brisport
Senator Samra Brouk
Senator Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick
Senator Iwen Chu
Senator Cordell Cleare
Senator Jeremy Cooney
Senator Patrick M. Gallivan
Senator Joseph A. Griffo
Senator Pamela A. Helming
Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal
Senator Timothy M. Kennedy
Senator John C. Liu
Senator John Mannion
Senator Monica Martinez
Senator Jack M. Martins
Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie
Senator Thomas F. O’Mara
Senator Peter Oberacker
Senator Robert G. Ortt
Senator Anthony Palumbo
Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Jessica Ramos
Senator Steven D. Rhoads
Senator Gustavo Rivera
Senator Rob Rolison
Senator Sean Ryan
Senator Luis R. Sepulveda
Senator James N. Tedisco
Senator Kevin Thomas
Senator Leah Webb
Senator Alexis Weik

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Assemblymember Demond Meeks
Assemblymember Donna Lupardo
Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson
Assemblymember Didi Barrett
Assemblymember Anil Beephan
Assemblymember Scott Bendett
Assemblymember Karl Brabenec
Assemblymember Harry Bronson
Assemblymember Maritza Davila
Assemblymember Inez Dickens
Assemblymember Jeff Gallahan
Assemblymember Deborah Glick
Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn
Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi
Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson
Assemblymember Josh Jensen
Assemblymember Billy Jones
Assemblymember Anna Kelles
Assemblymember John Lemondes
Assemblymember Dana Levenberg
Assemblymember Jennifer Lunsford
Assemblymember Brian Maher
Assemblymember Brian Manktelow
Assemblymember John McDonald III
Assemblymember David McDonough
Assemblymember KarenMcMahon
Assemblymember Brian D. Miller
Assemblymember Angelo J. Morinello
Assemblymember Michael J. Norris
Assemblymember Steven Raga
Assemblymember Jonathan Rivera
Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal
Assemblymember MaryJane Shimsky
Assemblymember Gina Sillitti
Assemblymember Matthew Simpson
Assemblymember Phil Steck
Assemblymember Chris Tague
Assemblymember Al Taylor
Assemblymember Fred Thiele Jr.
Assemblymember Monica Wallace
Assemblymember Carrie Woerner
Assemblymember John Zaccaro Jr.

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.

Double Up Food Bucks NY Supporters are Calling on New York State Legislature to Continue Funding the Program  

Field & Fork Network and Supporters Are Requesting $2 million Appropriation from NYS for Nutrition Incentive Program Double Up Food Bucks NY, an Investment to be Doubled With Federal Funding

Albany, NY – February 13, 2024: State Senators Michelle Hinchey (D-Kingston) and George Borrello (R-Sunset Bay), Assemblymembers Demond Meeks (D-Rochester), and Angelo Morinello (R-Niagara Falls), along with Field & Fork Network, the American Heart Association, Tops Friendly Markets, and other supporting organizations are calling on the legislature to continue funding Double Up Food Bucks NY with a $2 million appropriation in the FY 2025 New York State Budget.

Double Up Food Bucks NY is a nutrition incentive program that matches Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits $1 for $1, up to $20/day, on local fresh fruits and vegetables. Benefits of Double Up Food Bucks New York include increased healthy food access for New Yorkers, increased economic opportunities for farmers, and an increase in funds flowing back into local economies.

Field & Fork Network is excited to announce the investment by the USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture of $8 million over the next 4 years via the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). Field & Fork Network successfully leveraged the state’s $2 million investment from last year to unlock the first $2 million in federal funding as required by the grant’s non-federal match requirement. Field & Fork Network is poised to unlock another $2 million in federal funds to support Double Up Food Bucks NY. The unlocking of these federal funds, however, is contingent upon securing a commitment of an equal non-federal match of $2 million.

With this investment from New York State, Field & Fork Network will be able to utilize both the state and federal funds to grow and expand the Double Up Food Bucks NY program in 2024 and beyond. The program currently operates in more than 220+ sites across 31 counties in New York. With this funding, the program will expand into 6 additional counties in 2024, focusing expansion on farmers markets and large grocery stores.

“Double Up Food Bucks is much more than just a nutrition incentive program. It’s a proven pathway towards health, affordability, and equity, the result of which is a synergistic food economy that benefits the whole community,” said Joshua McGuire, Double Up Food Bucks Program Director at Field & Fork Network.

Senator Michelle Hinchey said,

“Double Up Food Bucks is the definition of a program that is actively creating circular economies within farming communities like the ones I represent in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, helping families afford nutritious food while investing that money straight back into our local farm businesses. I’m proud to champion funding for this essential initiative, and I thank Field & Fork Network for leading the way with this model.”

Senator George Borrello said,

“Access to fresh, nutritious food benefits the health of people of all ages, especially our youngest New Yorkers. That is why continuing our $2 million investment in Double Up Food Bucks is so important. This funding will not only leverage additional federal funds, it will expand the ability of Double Up to help more low-income New Yorkers, support more farmers and promote healthier communities. I am proud to be part of the wide bipartisan coalition speaking in support of this program and the funding it needs to sustain and grow its mission.”

Assemblymember Demond Meeks said,

“We are committed to addressing food insecurity in our community and recognize the importance of providing access to locally sourced and organic food options. By supporting small businesses, farmers, and the local economy, we not only provide direct assistance to those in need but also foster a more sustainable and resilient community. Through our efforts, we have secured funding to make these vital resources available to thousands of New Yorkers in underserved areas. We are proud to collaborate with organizations like Field & Fork Network and our state colleagues to make a positive impact in our community. Together, we are working towards a healthier, more equitable future for all.”

Assemblymember Angelo Morinello said,

“Double Up Food Bucks NY is an essential program that makes a wide variety of healthy food more accessible in our communities. The goal is to make good nutrition more affordable and easier. Local farmers receive the business, and our communities receive the healthy fruits and vegetables. It’s a win-win. With the federal government’s matching grant program, It is paramount we continue to support Double Up so they can continue to do their incredible work.”

How the Program Works:

Anyone who uses the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is eligible for the program. They simply sign up for Double Up Food Bucks NY at any participating location to get started.

Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at a participating Double Up Food Bucks NY location.

Pay with SNAP benefits, and for every $1 spent, earn $1 in Double Up Food Bucks, up to $20/day.

Use Double Up Food Bucks to buy fresh fruits and vegetables on a future shopping trip.

“Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of all Americans,” said Neil Yager, D.O., board member of the American Heart Association in the Capital Region. “Yet, with lifestyle modifications, much of it is preventable. A healthy diet is one of the main ways to prevent cardiovascular diseases, and Double Up Food Bucks really lets the consumer maximize their spending power. Any investment in this program now is an investment in the future health of New Yorkers. The American Heart Association can’t express strongly enough how critical it is to fund Double Up Food Bucks NY.”

Jeff Cady, Vice President of Produce and Floral at Tops Friendly Markets said,

“At Tops Markets, our goals are focused on providing our customers with healthy and nutritious food options and nothing helps us achieve those goals more than fresh fruit & vegetables. We want all of our customers to have the same opportunity no matter what their individual economic or living situation may be. Double Up Food Bucks NY checks those boxes and many more. Since partnering with Field & Fork Network, we have been meeting our customers at the cash registers with instant savings on fresh fruit and vegetables, many locally grown right here in NYS. It has made a huge impact that has continued to grow and resonate with our customers at both the Niagara Falls and Buffalo locations week after week. Tops, as well as Price Chopper/Market 32, have stores throughout NYS in many areas where this type of program would be tremendously beneficial. Additional support for the Double Up Food Bucks NY program will help us continue to make a positive impact on many more NYS communities.”

Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN, CDN, Manager of Lifestyle and Wellness with Price Chopper/Market 32 said,

“As a registered dietitian, I am a fierce advocate for increasing produce intake for all ages. Only 1 in 10 Americans eats enough produce, and that particularly impacts New York residents at risk for nutrition insecurity. DUFB is a proven model that drives increased intake with a focus on locally farmed food. Securing the match to federal funds is a sound investment in the health of our residents, farmers, state economy and health systems.“

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

Improving Food Security & Increasing Access to Fresh Produce on Syracuse’s Historic 15th Ward

Toomey Abbott Market Double Up Launch

Double Up Food Bucks NY launches at Toomey Abbott Market

Syracuse, NY – November 16, 2023: Field & Fork Network is pleased to announce the launch of Double Up Food Bucks NY at Toomey Abbott Market. The Double Up 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 $20 per day. Field & Fork Network worked closely with Syracuse Housing Authority (SHA) and Syracuse Onondaga Food System Alliance (SOFSA) to identify a retail store location that would have the greatest benefit for residents.

Toomey Abbott Market presented an invaluable opportunity to enhance fresh produce accessibility for seniors & individuals with disabilities, who often face the biggest barriers to food access. Located below Toomey Abbott Towers, a 300 apartment SHA high-rise, Toomey Abbott Market offers convenient access to essential groceries, including fresh fruits and vegetables. For the many senior and disabled residents without access to reliable aid or transportation, Toomey Abbott Market is their only grocery option.

“The successful launch of our program at Toomey Abbott Market would not be possible without the partnership and dedication of SHA. Their social workers received specialized training, empowering them to address inquiries and collect program sign-ups from clients directly. SHA’s proactive approach and consistent support has ensured countless residents’ ability to put healthy food on the table,” said Josh McGuire, Double Up Food Bucks NY Program Director.

Senator Rachel May said, “Good nutrition is the basis for a long and fulfilling life; however, for those in need, lack of access and affordability make it challenging to eat healthy fruits and veggies. Double Up Food Bucks is an excellent program helping bridge the divide between some in our community and a nutritious lifestyle.  I was happy to advocate for this excellent nonprofit program during the budget process. I’m excited that it’s expanding and will now be available at the Toomey Abbott Market, right in the place where many seniors live, ensuring they have access to healthy food. I look forward to Double Up Food Bucks’ success in this new location and its continuing expansion in Syracuse.”

Assemblyman Magnarelli said, “The launch of Double Up Food Bucks at Toomey Abbott Market demonstrates the close partnership of the Field & Fork Network and Syracuse Housing Authority. The program fills a need of the residents of Toomey Abbott Towers. Without this opportunity for the residents of Toomey Abbott to purchase fresh produce under this cost-saving program, the disparities of a food desert would continue to widen. I commend both agencies for recognizing this critical need and for bringing this program directly to the door of the residents of Toomey Abbott, who will benefit greatly from its presence.”

Syracuse Housing Authority said, “Many of our residents at Syracuse Housing Authority are on a fixed income and with the ever rising cost of daily necessities such as food our residents are having a hard time getting by. The Double Up Food Bucks program has positively impacted so many of our residents lives by allowing them to stretch their dollar and be able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Our residents on the west side have been taking advantage of the Double Up Food Bucks program at Brady Market and our Resident Support Services Team were committed to supporting and expanding the Double Up Food Bucks program to reach even more residents. Toomey Abbott Market now participating in the Double Up Food Bucks program allows even more of our residents to utilize the program and eat healthy.”

“In the historic shadow of Interstate 81 – a symbol of past community upheaval – the Toomey Abbott Market stands as a testament to our commitment to acknowledging and rectifying historical disparities,” said Maura Ackerman, Director of the Syracuse-Onondaga Food Systems Alliance. “The Double Up Food Bucks Program not only revitalizes this space but empowers our community economically, ensuring access to fresh, healthy food becomes a right, not a privilege.”

The impact of DUFBNY on individuals’ food security is significant; with each SNAP purchase, program users can earn up to $20 a day to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. This helps participants stretch their food budgets and put healthy food on the table.

How the Program Works:

  • Anyone with SNAP is eligible, simply sign up for a Double Up Food Bucks card at Toomey Abbott and start earning. Participants can also earn and spend their Double Up Food Bucks at Brady Market located on Gifford St.
  • Each SNAP dollar spent at the store equates to a dollar for fresh produce, up to $20 per day
  • Double Up Food Bucks never expire, allowing the program to work flexibly and meet individual needs.

Jay Patel, Toomey Abbott Market Owner said, “My name is Jay Patel, and I have been the owner of Toomey Abbott Market since 2007. I am glad we can partake in the Double Up Food Bucks program, as it allows many of our customers to make healthy choices. This program enables us to stock more fresh fruits and vegetables from local vendors for customers to pick from. We started the program on September 25th, and ever since then, we have seen a significant increase in fresh produce sales. We have had about 236 signups and 1600 transactions, which goes on to show that the initiative has been well-received by our customers. I am happy to see that this program encourages customers to make healthier choices by implementing healthy food into their diets, leading to overall health improvement. The Double Up Food Bucks program allows people to eat healthy despite the hardships they face due to increased living costs. This program is a great investment in our community’s long-term well-being.”

Toomey Abbott is located at 1213 Almond St, in Syracuse. The store is open Monday-Saturday from 9am-8pm. Double Up Food Bucks NY also operates at Brady Market, Syracuse Co-op, Brady Farm Stand, and the Burt Street Farm Market. To learn more, visit: www.doubleupnys.com

Improving Food Security & Access to More Locally Grown NY Food Made Possible with USDA NIFA Support

Field & Fork Network, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a sustainable local food system, is honored to announce the receipt of a large-scale grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food & Agriculture through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). This grant will help sustain and grow Field & Fork Network’s Double Up Food Bucks NY (Double Up) nutrition incentive program, which works to improve dietary health and nutrition security among underserved communities in New York State. 

For 10 years, Field & Fork Network has focused on rigorous evaluation and new technology to improve, scale, and deliver the program more equitably. Today, Double Up is available at more than 230 access points including grocery stores, farmers markets and mobile markets throughout New York State. Since 2014, the program has brought more than $13 million in combined SNAP and Double Up sales—dollars directly benefiting New York farmers and local businesses—equating to more than 8.6 million pounds of healthy food to New York families.  

“Double Up provides multiple benefits: it’s a win for low-income families putting more healthy food on their tables; it’s a win for NY farmers selling more produce and a win for area businesses as more food dollars circulate in the local economy,” said Josh McGuire, Double Up NY Program Director.  

Field & Fork Network’s Double Up program provides Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants with a $1-for-$1 match on purchases, that can be used to buy local fresh produce and contributes to a more sustainable food system. Field & Fork Network is committed to ensuring every New Yorker has access to the program.  The project will focus on three key innovations to reduce barriers and increase accessibility: 

  • Automatic Enrollment at Grocery Stores: Field & Fork Network is partnering with Catalina Marketing to automatically offer SNAP users the incentive when they make a qualifying purchase using their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. This makes the program more accessible by allowing it to operate in larger chain grocery stores and eliminating the sign-up barrier. Field & Fork Network has created strategic partnerships with various chain grocery stores including Tops Friendly Markets and Albertsons Companies to offer the program. 
  • Expansion to SNAP Online Shopping: Integrating Double Up with SNAP Online, reduces transportation barriers and time constraints. Allowing SNAP shoppers to take advantage of the resource with the click of a button. 
  • Support for Nutrition Incentives to Purchase Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): Double Up will offer SNAP shoppers a “BOGO” incentive for CSA boxes. This initiative increases access to and convenience of purchasing high quality, local produce for SNAP shoppers and invests in NY farmers. 

“Before Double Up, it was hard to stretch my SNAP funds and make them work. I was really limited in what I could shop for. Unfortunately, those things are not nutritious, and so it came down to making a choice between eating healthy and eating. Double Up gave me the extra money to buy fresh foods and incentivized me to go to the farmers market,” said Tim Bryant, Double Up Shopper. 

The grant award is an $8 million investment which requires non-federal matching funds. These federal dollars are leveraging NY State funds to help serve New Yorkers in need. Together this public-private partnership is supporting an ambitious New York expansion. Specifically, it aims to bring Double Up to every county in the state outside of NYC by 2027, reaching over 50,000 new SNAP households. This is Field & Fork Network’s second large scale Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program grant, the first large scale grant was received in 2020. 

Field & Fork Network’s success in securing this grant was made possible through the crucial support of evaluation partners, Action Research Collaborative (ARC) at Cornell University.  

“We’ve been working with Field & Fork Network since 2022 to evaluate the Double Up Food Bucks Program and its impact on SNAP recipients, farmers, grocers. With this new USDA funding, we look forward to using innovative strategies to make the program more accessible to low-income families across New York,” said Tashara Leak, associate professor and associate dean at Cornell University and co-Principial Investigator on the project. 

This grant underscores Field & Fork Network’s commitment to improving food security and enhancing access to locally grown, fresh food in New York State. It represents a significant step in reaching a more equitable and sustainable food system. Field & Fork Network’s innovative ideas and solutions continue to position the organization as a leader in the nutrition incentive space. 

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).

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Assemblyman Demond Meeks and Assemblyman Harry Bronson Join Field & Fork Network and Foodlink to Announce its Inclusion in the New York State Budget

Funding helps combat food insecurity, supports New York farmers, and local economies

Assemblyman Demond Meeks and Assemblyman Harry Bronson joins Field & Fork Network and Foodlink to announce its inclusion in the New York State Budget. Double Up Food Bucks NY received bipartisan support for the $2 million allocation for the second consecutive year; the funding will allow the statewide nutrition incentive program to expand services to approximately 100,000 additional SNAP shoppers and the opportunity to leverage an additional $2 million in Federal funding, going directly to NY farmers, small businesses, and local economies.

Double Up Food Bucks NY (DUFBNY) 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. Its benefits are three-fold: a win for New York farmers selling more produce; a win for low-income families putting more healthy food on their tables; and a win for local businesses and economies. Since 2014, DUFB NY has served 110,000+ SNAP shoppers, across 30 counties, generating over $10.1 million in healthy food sales.

As inflation and food costs continue to rise, 1 in 10 New York families struggle to put food on the table, Double Up makes healthy food choices within reach. Double Up is a proven, innovative model that simultaneously delivers health and economic benefits. Double Up addresses major food insecurity challenges, like access and affordability, by partnering with stores and markets in areas of high need, to give people the power to choose their own foods and avoid having to rely on food pantries to feed their families.

“We’re thankful for Assemblyman Meeks and Assemblyman Bronson’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.

“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,” says Assemblymember Demond Meeks.

“Ensuring that families, especially those with young children, have access to healthy, fresh food is imperative. We are a country of abundance and there is no reason anyone should be hungry. Food insecurity affects academic and work success, mental and physical health, and overall quality of life. With this knowledge in mind, we must do all we can to help people feed their families and do so without judgement or insecurity. As cost continue to rise and families feel increasingly stressed about how far their dollars stretch, Double Up Food Bucks is meeting the moment and is an important step forward to keeping families healthy and happy,“ says Assemblymember Harry Bronson.

Double Up Food Bucks is offered at Foodlink’s Curbside Market, a mobile market with 64 locations across Rochester and the surrounding communities. Foodlink partnered with Double Up Food Bucks in 2016 and the program has grown steadily year over year, reaching more than 17,000 Curbside Customers. Last year, the market distributed over $53,000 in Double Up Food Bucks. This has been a critical resource for families who lost an average of $159/month in SNAP benefits with the ending of COVID Emergency Allotments this March. Double Up customers consistently will earn the incentive at the beginning of the month and spend it at the end of the month when their benefits have run out. A strong indicator that people rely on this program to fill a food gap.

“The Double Up Food Bucks program has allowed our Curbside Market to stretch our customers’ food budgets even further for the past 7 years, encouraging the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables in communities where diet-related illnesses are prevalent,” said Julia Tedesco, President & CEO of Foodlink. “We are grateful that state funding, championed by Assemblymember Meeks, will allow this critical program to expand even further in the year ahead.”

Since the program launched in 2014, demand has increased year over year; participation grew 107% in the last year alone. The State’s $2 million dollar investment will mean the program can serve more SNAP shoppers and greatly expand participating locations. The funding also allows the program to scale services and distribute the dollars more equitably through partnerships with large grocery stores, such as Tops Markets, and integration with SNAP online grocery providers. Field & Fork Network is dedicated to supporting New York farmers and making fresh, local food accessible to all New Yorkers.

“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.”

GusNIP (USDA’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program) Year 3 Impact Report Released

The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) Year 3 Impact Findings report was developed by the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition in collaboration with Fair Food Network and U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The impact report presents the findings that the program has had on projects across the nation, spanning September 1, 2023 to August 31, 2022.

GusNIP, a USDA-funded program that distributes financial incentives and prescriptions for fruits and vegetables to consumers with low income, increases participants access to healthy foods. GusNIP aims to increase food and nutrition security while contributing to local economies and improving food systems in the US. The Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition leads the national evaluation through its Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE).

Highlights of the findings include:

  • 73% of federal funds ($30.5 million) were distributed as incentives for FVs to people with low income living in the U.S. This proportion was similar to Y2 (75%) and higher than Y1 (68%).
  • 3,608 food retail outlets and clinics offered incentives in Y3, nearly doubling the Y2 number (1,959). Of these, 3,057 were GusNIP-funded and 1,308 were GusCRR-funded.
  • On average, NI sites were in communities where 14.1% of the population earned an income below the federal poverty level. PPR sites were in communities where 14.8% of the population earned an income below the federal poverty level. Both are higher than the national average of 11.4%.
  • GusNIP program evaluation enables grantees to collect important data and receive personalized support to modify and improve future programming.

Furthermore, GusNIP grantees allocated a substantial proportion of their budgets to direct incentives (73%), reached an estimated 148,000+ participants each month, and operated in communities with higher poverty rates than average. For full details about the report and their findings, visit GusNIP NTAE Y3 Impact Findings | Nutrition Incentive Hub.