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USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture awards $4.6M to expand Double Up Food Bucks

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Wed, Feb 3rd 2021 07:00 am

NYS program, Field & Fork Network’s nutrition incentive initiative benefits families, farmers, local economy

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

Double Up Food Bucks matches 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 such as Lexington Co-op Markets, which just this year adopted the program as the first grocer to do so upstate.

“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 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; 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; and 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 or find participating locations nearby, visit the program website at www.doubleupnys.com.

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