The Field & Fork Network, a local nonprofit, has announced the expansion this farmers market season of the Double Up Food Bucks WNY incentive, which was designed to promote healthier food choices for low-income families while boosting the bottom line for local farmers.
Families who use food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can double their money through Oct. 31 at 15 participating farm markets – more than twice the number of markets involved in a pilot program for part of last growing season.
Double Up Food Bucks WNY provides a $1 for $1 match – up to $20 per market visit per day – for anyone who chooses to spend their SNAP dollars at a participating farmers market on state-grown fruits and vegetables.
The network teamed up with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Harvest NY program in last season’s pilot effort, and participating farm markets said SNAP purchases more than double and overall food assistance purchases more than triple. More than 1,000 new SNAP customers came out to the markets to shop during the 16-week pilot.
More than 70 percent of participating farmers surveyed said they were making more money and 62 percent of farmers reported having a new customer base as a result of the program, said Lisa Tucker, co-founder and executive director of Field & Fork Network.
“We feel fortunate to bring a program like Double Up Food Bucks to WNY where there is a need for greater access to fresh, affordable foods in many of our urban and rural communities,” Tucker said in a news release. “And the redirection of federal food assistance dollars into our local food and agriculture economy and into the hands of our local farmers is a bonus.”
The following foundations and corporations provide funding for the Double Up Food Bucks WNY SNAP incentive program: John R. Oshei Foundation, Univera Healthcare, Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, East Hill Foundation, Grigg Lewis Foundation, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, First Niagara Foundation and M&T Bank.
The following farmers markets now accept Double Up Food Bucks:
- Southern Tier Farmers Market: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays, 32 Willets Ave., Belmont
- Southern Tier Farmers Market: 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 13 Park Square, Franklinville
- Southern Tier Farmers Market: 2 to 6 p.m. Fridays, 1900 Constitution Ave., Olean
- Southern Tier Farmers Market: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, 12 Park Ave., Salamanca
- R.E.A.P. Olean Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Walmart Plaza, 3142 W. State St., Olean
- Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market: noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays, Cherry Street between Second and Third streets, Jamestown
- Fredonia Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Church Street, downtown Fredonia
- Clinton Bailey Farmers Market: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 1443-1517 Clinton St.
- Downtown Buffalo Country Market: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Main Street between Court and Church streets
- ECMC Farmers Market at Grider Street: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, across from Erie County Medical Center on Grider Street, just south of the Kensington Expressway.
- Elmwood Bidwell Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Elmwood Avenue at Bidwell Parkway
- Massachusetts Avenue Project’s Mobile Market: 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the MAP Farm Stand, 389 Massachusetts Ave.; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Gerard Place, 515 Bailey Ave.; 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, FLARE, 307 Leroy Ave.; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays, Harmac Medical Products, 201 Bailey Ave.; 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, Elim Christian Fellowship, 70 Chalmers Ave.; and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays, the Salvation Army, 960 Main St.
- North Buffalo Farmers Market: 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, 1113 Hertel Ave.
- Lockport Community Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, Historic Canal Street
- North Tonawanda Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, Robinson Street near Payne Avenue
For more information, visit fieldandforknetwork.com.