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

KeyBank in Partnership with the First Niagara Foundation and General Motors Provides Over $50,000 in Funding to Field & Fork Network

KeyBank in Partnership with the First Niagara Foundation and General Motors Provides Over $50,000 in Funding to Field & Fork Network

Investment funds ‘Food Pathways’, a professional development program for Niagara Falls High School students

NOVEMBER 21, 2022

Niagara Falls High School students will have an opportunity to enhance their education and receive professional development thanks to an investment from two foundations focused on strengthening Niagara County. Food Pathways, a program developed by Field & Fork Network, received a $32,375 grant from First Niagara Foundation and a $25,000 grant from General Motors. The funding will prepare 20 students to take on important careers that help improve and sustain our local food system.

“This innovative collaboration is connecting young people to the community in a unique way by providing career development opportunities while enhancing access to a fresh, affordable and sustainable food system,” said Elizabeth Gurney, Executive Director of the KeyBank and First Niagara Foundations. “Our investment in their future will help strengthen our regional economy and  create plans and pathways to help students reach their full potential.” Food Pathways was developed and piloted last year to address gaps that exist between the workforce and food system  employers in Niagara County. A partnership with Niagara Falls High School quickly formed, and a collaboration with the Niagara Global Tourism Institute helped create a comprehensive curriculum to engage seniors in exploring new career paths and learning tangible professional skills from leading professionals to better prepare them for the futures.

“We are thankful for the continued support from GM, who also funded the pilot, and to First Niagara Foundation for stepping up to fill the gap, enabling us to continue this program,” said Tom Lowe, Project Director at Field & Fork Network. “This is a unique opportunity for many of these students, and one that has the power to transform their lives; I feel lucky I get to be a part of it.”

“For the second year NFHS students will benefit from this partnership, it’s a chance to learn in a practical setting about new career paths and life skills that will stay with them as they transition to college or a career,” said NFHS Superintendent Mark Laurie.

Food Pathways will launch in January 2023, offering 20 Niagara Falls High School seniors a $500 stipend to participate in the 14-week program that explores career paths in the food system. The curriculum combines in-class professional development activities such as personal branding, social intelligence, team building, with food system experiences both in the classroom and out in the field at local businesses within the food system.

ABOUT FIELD & FORK NETWORK
Field & Fork Network is a NYS nonprofit organization that connects communities to innovative solutions that foster a sustainable food system. Whether we’re connecting farmers to new economic opportunities or connecting consumers to affordable fresh food, our work is designed to link communities together to make them stronger. To learn more about our work please visit our website and social media sites at: www.fieldandforknetwork.com | Facebook  Instagram  Twitter

ABOUT KEYBANK
KeyBank’s roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $190.1 billion at September 30, 2022. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications, and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

ABOUT THE FIRST NIAGARA FOUNDATION
Founded in 1998, the First Niagara Foundation will carry out the philanthropic legacy of First Niagara Bank, which was acquired by KeyBank in 2016. The Foundation, in partnership with KeyBank, supports not for profit organizations dedicated to empowering individuals and neighborhoods primarily in Western New York. For more information, visit http://www.firstniagarafoundation.org.

ABOUT GENERAL MOTORS
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at https://www.gm.com.

Field & Fork Network Partners with Emmanuel Sanders and the Buffalo Bills Foundation to Tackle Food Insecurity

Field & Fork Network’s Double Up Food Bucks New York program expands healthy food access for low-income families

Field & Fork Network announced its partnership with the Buffalo Bills Foundation today, joining a collection of local organizations participating in their Huddle for Hunger initiative addressing child hunger, nutritious food access, and healthy eating in Western New York. Double Up Food Bucks New York, a healthy food incentive program administered by Field & Fork Network, does just that by providing SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) shoppers with a dollar-for-dollar match to purchase more fruits and vegetables.

Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders will take on a new position as spokesperson for the program. “I’m proud to help shine a light on healthy food disparities and programs like Double Up Food Bucks which work to make it easier for people to put nutritious food on the table for their families,” said Sanders. “This cause is very personal to me and I hope that through this partnership I can continue to connect with people of Western New York community, while ensuring they get access to the resources available to them that make food more affordable.”

Nearly 20% of Western New Yorkers are food insecure with a high potential of qualifying for SNAP benefits. With Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), $20 spent on eligible SNAP purchases equals an extra $20 earned that can be used to purchase fresh, local produce. Since piloting DUFB at seven Western New York farmers markets in 2014, Field & Fork Network has expanded the program into over 180 farmers markets, mobile markets, farm stands, small retail, and corner stores across 30 counties in New York State, serving over 24,000 SNAP customers.

“The partnership with the Buffalo Bills Foundation and Emmanuel Sanders is incredibly exciting and will no doubt significantly raise awareness of the Double Up Food Bucks New York program. Our goal of eradicating food insecurity while improving the health of SNAP shoppers and strengthening the local food economy is that much closer with their help and support,” states Field & Fork Network’s Executive Director, Lisa French.

In addition to the collaboration with Sanders, the Buffalo Bills Foundations generously awarded Field & Fork Network $25,000 to conduct marketing and outreach, across the region, for the Double Up Food Bucks New York program. Field & Fork Network will be launching a robust promotional campaign featuring Sanders that will help drive awareness of the program and inform SNAP shoppers how to best use the program in stretching their food budgets.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the Buffalo Bills Foundation and Emmanuel Sanders as we tackle food insecurity in Western New York,” said Frances McGuire, Program Manager. “Double Up Food Bucks is an incredible resource that empowers SNAP shoppers to make healthy choices. Emmanuel’s voice will help us go the extra yard to spread the word about the program in the community.”

The first installment in connecting the community together through football and food will be Field & Fork Network’s participation in the Buffalo Bills Foundation Game on September 26th. From 9am until game start at 1pm, you can find the Double Up Food Bucks team on the Billevard handing out prizes and program information and giving eligible attendees the opportunity to sign up. Thanks to the foundation, two DUFB shoppers were awarded free tickets to the game and will also be in attendance with their families. There may even be a special guest!

“I could not be more excited to be partnering with Emmanuel Sanders and the Buffalo Bills Foundation!” said Stephanie Tisdale, Field & Fork Network Board President. “Not everyone within our community is fortunate enough to have regular access to healthy, sustainable options. Double Up Food Bucks is an amazing program that makes this dream and need an attainable reality. Thank you so much to the Buffalo Bills Foundation for their role in this and a very special thanks to Mr. Sanders. We at Field & Fork Network are so appreciative, beyond excited, and this is only the beginning!”

Double Up Food Bucks not only encourages healthy eating while providing the means to afford and access local food by meeting people where they are, but also supports local farmers and economies by putting the money back into their pockets. It’s a win-win-win for all! Field & Fork Network will continue to work with local partners to expand DUFB into more communities that will benefit from it the most. To learn more about Double Up Food Bucks and to find a complete list of participating sites, please visit www.doubleupnys.com/locations.

Niagara Falls City Market, now accepting SNAP, needs an Outreach & EBT Coordinator

Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan moving forward through Economic Development project that provides workforce opportunities and affordable food access to low-income families.

 

In an effort to make the local food system a more equitable place for all, Niagara Falls’ central and year-round market is finally going to begin accepting SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), also known as food stamps or EBT. Healthy Food Healthy People of Niagara Falls along with the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area and Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, have partnered with the Niagara Falls City Market to make it happen. In order to ensure the successful implementation and use of the benefit program, we are looking for a Community Outreach and Market EBT Coordinator. This person will not only manage the enrollment and acceptance of SNAP customers at the market, but is also a critical touchpoint in partnering with community members to get the word out about the availability of the program at City Market.

The ideal candidate should have a passion for social and community justice, be personable and approachable, and flexible as this is a temporary and part-time role. For more information and to submit an application please read the description here.

If you have any questions, reach out to Tom Lowe, Project Director, at Tlowe@fieldandforknetwork.com.

 

 

KeyBank, in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, Awards Field & Fork Network $50,000 to Support Healthy Corner Store Initiative

Local Food Action Plan aims to bring healthy options to vulnerable neighborhoods of Niagara Falls to empower healthier food choices

Field & Fork Network has been awarded a $50,000 grant, from KeyBank in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, to propel a healthy corner store initiative that will bring healthy food options to the Niagara Falls community, while providing technical support to store owners and nutrition education to residents. The project will be nurtured by Healthy Food Healthy People, a work group that is focused on increasing food access by strengthening the local food system. 

The grant, which gives back to First Niagara Foundation’s community roots, is part of KeyBank’s $40 billion National Community Benefits Plan which symbolizes their commitment to empowering individuals and neighborhoods through investment in programs that provide long term enhancement to their quality of life. 

 “The work that Field and Fork Network is doing to bring healthy and fresh food to all areas of our community is both important and transformational,” said Elizabeth Gurney, KeyBank Director of Corporate Philanthropy and Executive Director of the First Niagara Foundation. “We are so very supportive of their efforts and are proud to stand with them as they work to increase food access by strengthening the local food system.” 

 The healthy corner store initiative will not only encourage but give local businesses the tools to understand the importance as well as financial benefit to supporting fresh food sales. Residents will also be empowered to not only choose to eat healthy foods but have access to them, especially in those neighborhoods that may not have any other grocery options.  

 “We are so grateful for this funding from the First Niagara Foundation as it will allow for relevant stakeholders to come together to plan for and implement hyperlocal access to healthy food options in neighborhood-based corner stores, helping to alleviate transportation challenges, which is one of the largest barriers to accessing healthy food” said Tom Lowe, Project Director for the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan. 

 Healthy Food Healthy People started in 2013, and is comprised of over 35 community organizations and residents who have developed the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan to affect policy from the street up to government levels. The plan is strategically broken down into four key frameworks–agriculture, economic development, education, and healthy neighborhoods – each with several actionable and resident-driven objectives.  

 To read the full Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan and learn how to get involved in this or the other plan goals, visit https://bit.ly/NFfoodactionplan.