Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone announced the Suffolk County Economic Development Corporation has approved a $25,000 grant to Field & Fork Network to bring the Double Up Foods Bucks Program to Suffolk County. Double Up Food Bucks doubles the value of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, that is spent at participating farmers’ markets, mobile markets, corner stores, small retail locations, farm stands and grocery stores, helping residents to bring home more locally grown fruits and vegetables.
“With more than 350,000 Long Islanders not knowing where their next meal will come from, this program will not only give low-income residents the chance to make healthier food choices, it will also allow local farmers to gain new customers and make more money,” said Bellone. “Double Up Food Bucks will also allow more food dollars to stay in our local economy.”
Double Up Food Bucks can only be used to purchase New York-grown fruits and vegetables. You can also use Double Up Food Bucks to purchase food-bearing plants such as tomato plants, etc. Anyone receiving SNAP benefits is automatically eligible. If you have a SNAP EBT Card, you can use this program at a participating Double Up Food Bucks program site. Participating retailers must serve New York-grown produce and accept SNAP benefits. For more information on Double Up Food Bucks, visit www.doubleupnys.com.
Field & Fork Network is a nonprofit organization serving New York State. Their mission is to connect communities to innovative solutions that foster a sustainable food system. The Field & Fork Network began administering the Double Up Food Bucks program in 2014 at seven farmers’ markets in Western New York. By 2021, the program has grown to be in 29 counties and over 150 farmers’ markets, mobile markets, grocery, small retail and farm stand locations. For more information on the Field & Fork Network, visit https://fieldandforknetwork.com.
In 2018, Suffolk County launched “Choose LI – Local and Independent,” a collaborative effort that seeks to raise awareness, advocate and inspire the community to support local and independent businesses on Long Island, including local fruits and vegetables. Residents can visit www.chooseli.org to find participating Double Up Food Bucks locations.
Farmers’ markets and farm stands interested in participating in the Double Up Food Bucks program should reach out to August Ruckdeschel at August.firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Farmers Market Week works to highlight how much value markets bring to their communities. The week includes fun events, specials, contests and activities to help boost market attendance and visibility in local communities. National Farmers Market week began Aug. 1 and runs through Aug. 7.
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