Expanding a Nutrition Incentive Program Across New York State, Phase 2
Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
June 18, 2018
Clinton County has 600 farms, yet more than 50% of the county’s population lives with no healthy food outlet nearby.
Residents living in the most rural parts of the county pay up to 40% more for food than those in the nearby city of Plattsburgh. Furthermore, 16% of Clinton County residents receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps) benefits. Double Up Food Bucks is a nutrition incentive program that gives SNAP recipients increased access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables through a dollar-to-dollar match to their benefits at farmers markets and farm stands. In 2017, NYHealth awarded Field & Fork Network a grant to implement Double Up Food Bucks in the western and central regions of New York State. In 2018, NYHealth awarded Field & Fork a second grant to further expand the program into Clinton County.
Under this grant, Field & Fork worked with farmers markets, food outlets, and food producers to participate in Double Up Food Bucks and increase the purchase and consumption of fruits and vegetables among SNAP recipients throughout Clinton County. A simultaneous expansion of the program also occurred in nearby St. Lawrence County and in Columbia County. To better ensure uptake, Field & Fork conducted marketing, outreach, and training so that all participating markets and vendors have the tools they need to successfully operate the program. It also conducted outreach and activities to spread awareness among and engage with eligible customers. With the expansion of Double Up Food Bucks into Clinton County, the program was embedded in all three of NYHealth’s upstate Healthy Neighborhoods Fund communities.