In Network News

Field & Fork Network’s Double Up Food Bucks New York program expands healthy food access for low-income families

Field & Fork Network announced its partnership with the Buffalo Bills Foundation today, joining a collection of local organizations participating in their Huddle for Hunger initiative addressing child hunger, nutritious food access, and healthy eating in Western New York. Double Up Food Bucks New York, a healthy food incentive program administered by Field & Fork Network, does just that by providing SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) shoppers with a dollar-for-dollar match to purchase more fruits and vegetables.

Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders will take on a new position as spokesperson for the program. “I’m proud to help shine a light on healthy food disparities and programs like Double Up Food Bucks which work to make it easier for people to put nutritious food on the table for their families,” said Sanders. “This cause is very personal to me and I hope that through this partnership I can continue to connect with people of Western New York community, while ensuring they get access to the resources available to them that make food more affordable.”

Nearly 20% of Western New Yorkers are food insecure with a high potential of qualifying for SNAP benefits. With Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), $20 spent on eligible SNAP purchases equals an extra $20 earned that can be used to purchase fresh, local produce. Since piloting DUFB at seven Western New York farmers markets in 2014, Field & Fork Network has expanded the program into over 180 farmers markets, mobile markets, farm stands, small retail, and corner stores across 30 counties in New York State, serving over 24,000 SNAP customers.

“The partnership with the Buffalo Bills Foundation and Emmanuel Sanders is incredibly exciting and will no doubt significantly raise awareness of the Double Up Food Bucks New York program. Our goal of eradicating food insecurity while improving the health of SNAP shoppers and strengthening the local food economy is that much closer with their help and support,” states Field & Fork Network’s Executive Director, Lisa French.

In addition to the collaboration with Sanders, the Buffalo Bills Foundations generously awarded Field & Fork Network $25,000 to conduct marketing and outreach, across the region, for the Double Up Food Bucks New York program. Field & Fork Network will be launching a robust promotional campaign featuring Sanders that will help drive awareness of the program and inform SNAP shoppers how to best use the program in stretching their food budgets.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the Buffalo Bills Foundation and Emmanuel Sanders as we tackle food insecurity in Western New York,” said Frances McGuire, Program Manager. “Double Up Food Bucks is an incredible resource that empowers SNAP shoppers to make healthy choices. Emmanuel’s voice will help us go the extra yard to spread the word about the program in the community.”

The first installment in connecting the community together through football and food will be Field & Fork Network’s participation in the Buffalo Bills Foundation Game on September 26th. From 9am until game start at 1pm, you can find the Double Up Food Bucks team on the Billevard handing out prizes and program information and giving eligible attendees the opportunity to sign up. Thanks to the foundation, two DUFB shoppers were awarded free tickets to the game and will also be in attendance with their families. There may even be a special guest!

“I could not be more excited to be partnering with Emmanuel Sanders and the Buffalo Bills Foundation!” said Stephanie Tisdale, Field & Fork Network Board President. “Not everyone within our community is fortunate enough to have regular access to healthy, sustainable options. Double Up Food Bucks is an amazing program that makes this dream and need an attainable reality. Thank you so much to the Buffalo Bills Foundation for their role in this and a very special thanks to Mr. Sanders. We at Field & Fork Network are so appreciative, beyond excited, and this is only the beginning!”

Double Up Food Bucks not only encourages healthy eating while providing the means to afford and access local food by meeting people where they are, but also supports local farmers and economies by putting the money back into their pockets. It’s a win-win-win for all! Field & Fork Network will continue to work with local partners to expand DUFB into more communities that will benefit from it the most. To learn more about Double Up Food Bucks and to find a complete list of participating sites, please visit www.doubleupnys.com/locations.