October 26, 2021
On October 26, 2021, NYHealth hosted a webinar with Brittany Christenson, executive director of AdkAction; and Victor Estaban Fimbres, founder, and Justin N. Intal, co-founder and CEO, of Forage, an online platform that helps small grocers process electronic benefit transfer cards for use in online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchases.
AdkAction, based in Essex County, has a mission to respond to unmet needs in the North Country, including the need for healthy, affordable food. As one way to address the growing food insecurity crisis in the region, AdkAction established the Fair Food Pricing program, which provides subsidized, healthy food for qualifying residents.
Unique to this program, customers can use their SNAP dollars online to purchase food from local farms. Although New York State was one of the first states to pilot the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s online SNAP program, access is still limited, especially in rural counties where participating large grocers, such as Walmart and ShopRite, are not easily accessible.
Applying to become an online SNAP vendor is a cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming process. AdkAction provided technical support to help Hub on the Hill, a nonprofit food hub in the North Country, apply to become an online SNAP vendor. If approved, the Hub will become the first non-chain, small food vendor in New York State to offer online SNAP to its customers.
The panelists discussed the importance of Fair Food Pricing and how they are helping other small vendors apply to become online SNAP vendors—putting New York State on the path toward becoming one of the first states to see expansion of the online SNAP program beyond large chain stores.
View presentation slides.