Some Shoppers on Binghamton’s north side are getting some big help. A new program allows anyone using SNAP benefits at the Greater Good Grocery store will now get a dollar match for any piece of produce purchased.
Officials say they hope a program like this can go a long way in fighting hunger in what was a former food desert for the area.
Kinya Middleton has been with the Greater Good Grocery store since it opened in 2021 and can now call herself the general manager.
“I think every day when I come here, I’m excited to come here. It doesn’t really feel like a job. It’s amazing. It’s such a great feeling,” said Middleton, general manager at Great Good Grocery.
And for the 12,000 residents on Binghamton’s North side, the grocery store has been a long time coming, serving one of the poorest spots in the city.
“For 25 years, there hasn’t been a grocery store in this area, so people come and a lot of people in this area don’t have access to cars so it’s easy for them just to get here and back. Simple,” said Middleton.
With new items stocked nearly every day, Middleton is helping serve a community that went unserved for over two decades.
“Interacting with the customers is the greatest part of the day. It makes the time go by and you learn so much from different people, you just never know what you’re going to learn and it’s good to always expand your mind, and also help people,” said Middleton.
Another helpful piece of the puzzle comes thanks to the Double Up Program, allowing those using SNAP benefits to get a dollar match for every piece of produce they purchase.
That money can then be used to buy fruits and vegetables at a later date.
“That will definitely help right now, especially with prices going up with food. It definitely stretches anybody’s food budget,” said Middleton.
Middleton says she knows it’s just the beginning, with the grocery store having already served over 7,000 people in the its first few months. And while 45% of people who shop at Greater Good Grocery use SNAP benefits, Middleton says the store is open to anyone.