Double Your Money: SNAP Goes Twice as Far For Local Food

AdkAction’s “Farmacy” Project and the Keeseville Pharmacy have partnered with Field & Fork Network to bring the Double Up Food Bucks program to the Keeseville Farmacy. 

Keeseville Farmacy now offers this program to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) customers to help stretch food dollars, support local farmers and producers, and keep food dollars within local economies. For every SNAP dollar a customer spends at the Farmacy, the Double Up Food Bucks program will match that dollar amount for customers to spend on fresh, local fruits and vegetables, for amounts up to $10 per day. Customers interested in participating in this program should sign up at the Keeseville Farmacy to receive a loyalty card, which will be used to earn and track Double Up Food Bucks balances. 

“We are so excited to operate the Double Up Food Bucks program at the Farmacy to increase access to fresh food for SNAP families,” says Kiana French, Farmacy Project Coordinator for AdkAction, “This program directly addresses the affordability barrier to local food while supporting our local producers and economies.”

Double Up Food Bucks program comes as a direct response to the call for innovative food access solutions in Keeseville, a small rural town without a grocery store. Low income and at-risk families face multiple obstacles to food access to fresh food, especially in rural North Country towns that cannot sustain traditional grocery stores and continue to experience grocery closures. Food access barriers in these rural towns can be attributed to multiple issues, such as limited access to transportation, limited access to SNAP authorized businesses or the higher prices of local food. Keeseville, like so many other rural communities in the North Country, experiences high food insecurity rates due to these issues. Innovative food access programs, such as Double Up Food Bucks, help reduce these barriers to fresh food within communities by offering alternative solutions while keeping food dollars within local economies and the hands of local farmers. 

Double Up Food Bucks was created by Fair Food Network in 2009, beginning at just 5 farmers market locations in Michigan. Since then, the program has spread nationwide to include farmers’ markets, farm stands, and local food retail outlets across 18 states, including Western New York. Field & Fork Network operates the Double Up NYS program out of Buffalo, NY, and the program continues to spread throughout the state. In 2019, The Farm Bill prescribed $45 million for the Double Up Food Bucks to continue to combat food access issues in low-income families and help keep food dollars within local economies.

The Farmacy is a unique non-profit/for-profit partnership between AdkAction and the Keeseville Pharmacy that was formed with the mission of increasing accessibility of local, healthy food to all residents of Keeseville. While some rural communities, such as Keeseville, cannot sustain a traditional year-round grocery store, this business model provides another option whereby an existing business incorporates a farm grocery section into its storefront.  The goal of this business model is to reduce the risk of food insecurity by providing healthy grocery options, as well as the tools and education to properly prepare and consume them. The Farmacy project continues to expand and grow to meet the needs of the community and address the issues of food security and healthy food affordability to all residents. 

This project is sponsored by the Essex County Well Fed Collaborative, a project of Essex

County Health Department in partnership with AdkAction. 

About AdkAction: AdkAction is a not-for-profit, non-partisan 501(C)(3) that creates projects that address unmet needs, promote vibrant communities, and preserve the character of the Adirondacks. More at AdkAction.org.

Double Up is a program of Field & Fork Network, a food and farming non-profit organization based in Western New York. Field & Fork Network started the Double Up Food Bucks program in 2014 as a pilot in seven local farmers markets as part of its mission to build a thriving regional food system that serves everyone. For more information, visit www.doubleupnys.com or call 1-800-682-5016.

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