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.

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

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

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

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

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

About Double Up Food Bucks

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

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

Here’s how Double Up Food Bucks NY works:

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

Benefits of participating in Double Up Food Bucks NY:

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

Market eligibility requirements:

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

Questions?

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

Where to apply?

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

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

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

Double Up Food Bucks New York Releases 2021 Request for Applications

market application season

Field & Fork Network’s Nutrition Incentive program increases healthy food access for low-income families, supports local farmers

Buffalo, NY – Field & Fork Network is seeking applications for the 2021 Double Up Food Bucks Season. Farmers markets, mobile markets, farm stands, grocery, and small retail sites in New York State that accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) benefits are eligible to apply for the program.

Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) is a national model for healthy food incentive programs that provides individuals and families who use SNAP benefits with a dollar-for-dollar match that encourages the purchase of healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Since piloting DUFB at seven Western New York farmers markets in 2014, Field & Fork Network has expanded the DUFB program into over 150 locations across 23 counties in the state and has served over 22,500 SNAP customers. “The Double Up program is a win-win-win,” said Lisa French, co-founder and executive director of Field & Fork Network. “Low-income families bring home more healthy food, local farmers sell more produce, and more food dollars stay in the local economy.”

Here’s how DUFB works: It matches the value of SNAP dollars spent on locally grown fruits and vegetables, up to $20 per day, providing shoppers with additional dollars to bring home more produce. SNAP users can sign up for the program easily and quickly at any participating location.

As New Yorkers continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the Double Up program can provide low-income consumers with a much-needed way to stretch their food dollars. “Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, more New Yorkers are facing the choice between being hungry and eating healthy every day,” says French. “Bringing the Double Up program into more sites across the state can help eliminate that choice.”

Businesses in the local farming and agriculture sector have seen an influx in customers because of Double Up Food Bucks. The ability for customers to stretch their food dollars with the incentive has driven new customers to Double Up sites and created opportunities for market partners to grow their business. “Creekside [Market] has been a seasonal market since inception [but] DUFB is one of the key reasons we are becoming a year-round grocery store/farm market,” said Alan Butzer, owner of Creekside Market. “The additional sales from DUFB help justify our decision to operate year-round and create jobs.”

Interested sites can find the application and additional information about Double Up Food Bucks on the Double Up New York State website www.doubleupnys.com/getinvolved. Applications must be completed by Friday, April 23, 2021. Eligibility requirements apply.

One-House Budgets Leave Out Vital Support for Sustainable Food Assistance Programs

food banks help to serve those in immediate need but won't sustain a healthy food lifestyle long-term

Field & Fork Network seeking $1 million allocation of funding to support Double Up Food Bucks Nutrition Incentive program

Buffalo, NY – Today, Field & Fork Network voiced its deep disappointment in the omission of funding for the Double Up Food Bucks NYS program in the New York State Senate and Assembly One-House budget proposals passed this week.

The assembly budget proposal includes a $25 million appropriation to support Nourish NY – a state initiative founded by Governor Cuomo at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that provides surplus agricultural products to emergency food organizations at competitive prices. In a time where hunger is escalating at an unprecedented rate, emergency food services provide an essential lifeline for families in need. However, heavily investing exclusively in programs like Nourish NY takes away funding from more sustainable programs that give families more flexible food options that fit their lifestyles and food choices.

“While the Nourish NY program has provided excellent support to struggling NYS farmers and families during the pandemic environment, it is important for the state to lessen the load placed on the emergency food system by investing in nutrition incentive programs like Double Up Food Bucks that can lead to long-term improvement in food-insecurity,” said Lisa French, co-founder and executive director of Field & Fork Network.

Field & Fork Network is urging state legislators to consider earmarking $1 million of the $25 million appropriated to Nourish NY to the Double Up Food Bucks NYS program. Double Up Food Bucks (Double Up) is a nutrition incentive program that matches Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits dollar-for-dollar, on fresh fruit and vegetable purchases at participating farmers markets, mobile markets, small retail, and grocery locations. Since 2014, Double Up has helped to provide access to healthy, affordable produce to over 22,500 customers across New York State, while also supporting over 200+ farmers with increased revenue. Today, Double Up operates in 23 counties across upstate NY—with plans to double its footprint by 2024.

Double Up Food Bucks owes this success in part to the continued support received from a set of diverse partners, like the American Heart Association, that actively advocate on the program’s behalf. “The American Heart Association understands the importance of prioritizing access to healthy food initiatives, especially during the pandemic,” said Caitlin O’Brien, government relations director at American Heart Association. “The Double Up Food Bucks program which was not funded in either of the legislature’s budget bills, is a
commonsense solution. The legislature did appropriate $25 million for the Nourish NY Program, however. This is a good program that provides emergency food assistance, and the Double Up program would be a helpful supplement. If the state took $1 million of the funds allotted to this and invested them in Double Up Food Bucks, that would be an investment in a long-term, sustainable program to help with nutrition insecurity.”

Incentive programs like Double Up meet people where they are in their communities by providing access to more affordable food in existing food retail sites and farmers markets. Double Up addresses major food-insecurity challenges, like access and affordability, by partnering with stores in areas of high need to give people the power to choose their own foods. “Double Up allows SNAP users to purchase foods they want to eat on a long-term basis, rather than having to rely on what is available at a food bank or soup kitchen,” said French. “When families can choose their own foods, they will have an easier time fostering healthy eating habits, changing behaviors, and fitting their diets to their time and cooking capabilities.”

Diversifying solutions to address food insecurity long-term is a more sustainable way to ensure people are empowered with the choice for healthier, obtainable alternatives that conform to their dietary or culturally appropriate food needs. It also gives them the choice of where to buy, which in turn establishes a long-term relationship with local stores and farmers who then expand their customer base and income. This puts food dollars spent back into local economies, leading to a wider economic impact. According to a recent study performed by Colorado State University, healthy food incentive programs lead to powerful returns on investment. The study showed that for every dollar spent in New York State with Double Up, $2.20 goes back into stimulating the local economy. In 2020 alone, Double Up program purchases contributed $500,000 to the NYS economy. Further investment in the program by the state would significantly increase that number. To read the full economic impact study and to learn more about Double Up Food Bucks New York, please visit www.doubleupnys.com/resources.

USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture Awards $4.6 Million to Expand Double Up Food Bucks Program in New York State

Double Up Food Bucks retail partners

Field & Fork Network’s nutrition incentive program benefits families, farmers, and the local economy.

Buffalo, NY – Field & Fork Network announced today that it has been awarded a four-year, $4.6 million federal grant through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), to continue expanding the Double Up Food Bucks nutrition incentive program across New York State.

Double Up Food Bucks matches SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Incentive Program) benefits – dollar for dollar – on fresh fruit and vegetable purchases at participating farmers markets, mobile markets, small retail, and grocery locations.

“The Double Up Food Bucks program is a win-win-win,” said Lisa French, co-founder and Executive Director of Field & Fork Network, which first launched the Double Up program in 2014. “It benefits farmers, puts more healthy food on the tables of low-income families, and stimulates local businesses while keeping federal food dollars circulating in the local economy.”

Since 2014, the Double Up program has served over 16,000 SNAP users at over 100 locations across 24 counties in New York. The GusNIP grant, to be allocated over the next four years, will allow for expansion into 45 counties across the state, as well as further development of technological advances for the program, by 2024. This will provide the resources needed to implement the Double Up program into year-round grocery sites like Lexington Co-op Markets, which just this year adopted the program as the first grocer to do so in upstate NY.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue to work to expand the Double Up program across the state,” said Double Up Food Bucks program manager, Frances McGuire. “As a state, we are facing increased food insecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will allow more New York families and communities to have access to fresh, local food at a time when they need it the most.”

This is the third GusNIP (formerly known as the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program) federal award granted to Field & Fork Network by NIFA. The funding builds on a tremendous foundation of support provided by Field & Fork Network’s extensive set of partners. The following philanthropic organizations are recognized for their role in making this grant possible through their matched contributions: Adirondack Foundation, Allyn Family Foundation, BlueShield of Northeastern New York Blue Fund, Cloudsplitter Foundation, COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, First Niagara Foundation, Five Star Bank, Garman Family Fund administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, The John R. Oishei Foundation, New York State Health Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, The Schenectady Foundation, United Way of the Adirondacks, Western New York Foundation, The Wright Family Foundation, Inc.

To ensure there is quality data on the progress toward the intended outcomes, Field & Fork Network has also partnered with a third-party evaluator, CCNY, Inc., for the lifespan of the GusNIP grant. CCNY will provide data on how well services are provided and how effective the work is at impacting those in need. “Our team is excited to support the important work of Field & Fork’s Double Up Food Bucks Program,” said David Monroe, Director of Evaluation and Analytics with CCNY. “It is a needed service in our community, and we continue to gather data to better understand its impact on New York State families, farmers, and local economies.”

To learn more about Double Up Food Bucks New York and find participating locations near you, please visit the program website at www.doubleupnys.com.