The Double Up Food Bucks program is looking to expand to more stores and neighborhoods to increase the buying power of SNAP recipients for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Mayor Kim Janey and the Mayor’s Office of Food Access (OFA) today announced that OFA has been awarded $500,000 through the USDA Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) grant to continue and expand the Boston Double Up Food Bucks program throughout the City. The Mayor’s Office of Food Access will also contribute $500,000 in funds and in kind, totalling $1 million in support to expand equitable access to affordable fruits and vegetables. As part of the expansion plan, the City of Boston is calling on all bodegas and corner stores to apply to be a part of the Double Up Food Bucks program For more information about the program, residents and store owners can visit here.
“Everyone deserves access to affordable, nutritious meals,” said Mayor Kim Janey. “Especially during the pandemic, the health of our residents is paramount. This program helps Boston residents, while also aiding our small businesses. I encourage any eligible store owner interested to apply and take advantage of this opportunity.”
The Double Up Food Bucks program is a SNAP incentive program offered at local corner stores and bodegas. The goal of the program is to incentivize and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables. SNAP beneficiaries who shop at participating stores and use their EBT to pay for fresh fruits and vegetables can get a 50 percent discount of up to $10 on their produce purchase per day.
As part of the Double Up Food Bucks expansion plan, the City of Boston is looking to partner with more small grocery stores, bodegas and corner stores to bring affordable, fresh produce to their community. Through this partnership, participating stores will receive technical assistance, including one-on-one training, monthly visits and calls, program performance report, and program coaching.
Participating stores have noticed positive changes in their sales and customers’ purchasing habits. “I have regular customers that always ask for the incentive and see the benefit of eating healthy,” said Juana Martinez of Monumental Meat Market in Dorchester.
Currently, Double Up Food Bucks is available at nine stores in Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain and Mattapan. Since the program began in 2018, customers participating in the program have redeemed over $500,000 worth of fruit and vegetable incentives at participating stores. The program has allowed families with SNAP benefits to buy more healthy foods, help grocers gain new customers, and keep more food dollars within the local economy.
About the Mayor’s Office of Food Access
The Mayor’s Office of Food Access (OFA) strives to give all residents of Boston access to nutritious, affordable, culturally-connected food. Keeping the diversity of Boston’s population at heart, OFA’s goal is to create a more food secure City with a vibrant, inclusive food culture.