Double Up Food Bucks NY (DUFBNY) will launch at Hawthorne Valley Farm Store on Sat, Apr 22, providing a nutrition incentive program that doubles the buying power of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers. This program is designed to help increase access to healthy, locally-grown fruits and vegetables for low-income individuals and families in Columbia County.

According to Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” report, Columbia County has a food insecurity rate of 11.3%, which is higher than the national average of 9.7%. The report also shows that over 6,000 individuals in Columbia County face food insecurity, including over 2,000 children. DUFBNY provides people facing food insecurity with a sustainable solution and an alternative to food pantries.

Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “Columbia County has a food insecurity rate that exceeds the national average and an incredible community of local farm businesses always looking for ways to help expand access to fresh food, including through innovative programs like Double Up Food Bucks NY. We are excited to bring the Double Up program to Hawthorne Valley Farm Store to make healthy produce more affordable for SNAP customers while investing those local food dollars back in our local farm businesses. As the Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee, I’m proud to champion investments for this important initiative and continue the expansion of farm-fresh food in communities across New York State.”

DUFBNY aims to alleviate food insecurity and promote healthy eating by doubling the value of SNAP dollars spent at participating farmers markets, grocery stores, and other retail outlets. SNAP customers can receive up to $20 in DUFBNY per day to purchase fresh produce, providing them with access to more nutritious food options and supporting local farmers. The program is free to participate in, the money never expires, and can be banked for future purchases.

“With the rising cost of food, we recognize that it is more important than ever that people continue to have access to quality produce for their families,” says Jeremy Laurange, Hawthorne Valley Director of Retail. “We are thrilled to partner with Double Up Food Bucks to help families bridge the gap of affordability when it comes to fresh, healthy foods.”

Customers interested in enrolling in the program should speak to a cashier at the registers.

DUFBNY is a program of Field & Fork Network, a nonprofit organization that works to build a more equitable and sustainable food system in New York State. The program has served over 100,000 SNAP shoppers and is currently available at over 220 participating locations throughout New York State, including farmers markets, grocery stores, mobile markets, and farm stands.

“We are thrilled to launch Double Up Food Bucks NY at Hawthorne Valley Farm Store, and expand the program in Columbia County,” said Nichole Borchard, Director of Partnerships at Field & Fork Network. “We believe that every individual should have access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food, and this program helps to make that a reality for SNAP customers, while investing in NY farmers and small businesses. We call it a Win-Win-Win.”

For more information about Double Up Food Bucks NY, including a list of participating locations, visit their website. Hawthorne Valley Farm Store is located at 327 CR 21C, Ghent, NY, and is open daily from 7:30am-7pm. Learn more at our website. Double Up is also available locally year-round at Rolling Grocer 19, Philmont Cooperative, and Chatham Real Food Market.