Making Local Fresh Produce More Accessible
The Monadnock Food Co-op recently launched the Double Up Food Bucks program at its full-service grocery store in downtown Keene. This program gives customers enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) the chance to double their dollars on purchases of fresh produce when they use their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card.
“Now more than ever families across America want to eat nutritious, wholesome foods,” states the Fair Food Network, the organization that runs Double Up Food Bucks in New Hampshire. “But when a head of lettuce costs more than a bag of potato chips, it’s easy to see why the healthiest choice may not always be the easiest choice — and why, when shoppers have a limited budget, putting healthy food on the table can simply be out of reach.”
The Double Up Food Bucks program works to change this by providing a financial incentive to purchase more fruits and vegetables. The program, now in thirteen grocery stores around New Hampshire, began in July of 2017. To participate, customers must ask for the discount before their EBT card is swiped at the register.
“This win-win-win program allows people who receive SNAP benefits to stretch their dollars and purchase more fresh produce at the co-op,” said Michael Faber, Monadnock Food Co-op General Manager. “It means more healthy fruits and vegetables on people’s plates, more money to our local farmers, and more money recirculating in our local economy.”
“It’s really exciting to launch this program during NH Eat Local Month,” said Jen Risley, Monadnock Food Co-op’s Marketing Manger. “There’s so much fresh produce available from our local farms in the co-op today — from corn to lettuce to beets.”