Setting the Stage to Scale and Sustain the Double Up Food Bucks Programs in Western New York and the Finger Lakes
Building Healthy Communities
October 28, 2015
The Double Up Food Bucks initiative is a food-purchasing program that offers recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) a matching value on dollars spent at farmers markets on fresh, locally grown produce.
For instance, a family that spends $10 in SNAP benefits at a participating farmers market receives an additional $10 in Double Up Food Bucks, which can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables. In addition to helping low-income families purchase more fruits and vegetables, the program helps regional farmers gain new customers and earn more income. As a result, more federal assistance dollars stay within the local economy. In 2015, NYHealth awarded Field & Fork Network, Inc., (Field & Fork) a grant to sustain and expand the Double Up Food Bucks initiative in Western New York and the Finger Lakes region.
Under this grant, Field & Fork built a stable financing mechanism to support the growth of Double Up Food Bucks in these regions. Specifically, Field & Fork worked with community partners on efforts to secure federal matching support and more State support. It also expanded the program to new farmers markets operating in Western New York and the Finger Lakes. Additionally, Field & Fork developed marketing and outreach materials to increase demand for the program at existing farmers markets. Field & Fork also collaborated with other organizations serving people who are SNAP eligible to increase the number of possible customers and their access to fresh, affordable produce.