New ‘Spend. Earn. Redeem.’ Model Means Twice the Produce for SNAP Participants
Buffalo, N.Y. (January 16, 2023) – Beginning February 1, the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program at the Lexington Co-op is changing.
Currently, and until January 31, the program has participants using a 50% produce coupon card, which allows them to earn up to $10 in DUFB to use on the same day. Starting next month, the program will change to an “Earn and Redeem” model giving DUFB members more flexibility in their food budgets and more opportunities to earn “bucks.”
“We know that everyone is feeling the impact of their dollar being stretched and research shows that high costs are disproportionately hurting low-income households,” said Tim Bartlett, general manager, Lexington Co-op. “By continuing to work with Field and Fork Network, and improving our Double Up Food Bucks program, our hope is that customers walk away feeling supported and that they’ve made healthy choices for their families.”
The new DUFB program works like this:
- Buy produce at either Lexington Co-op location (Elmwood and Hertel).
- DUFB will match the spend, dollar for dollar, up to $20 per day.
- Those “earned” dollars can be “redeemed” anytime within one year.
In addition to fresh, local, whole fruit and vegetables, participants can now also purchase minimally processed produce like pre-chopped fruits and vegetables, which were previously ineligible.
Current participants in the co-op’s DUFB program must re-register to continue participating in the program by January 31. New participants are encouraged to register as well. More specifics on how the new program will work are available now online.
The co-op is continuing to partner with Field and Fork Network to improve affordable access to local, Fresh and organic fruits and vegetables through the DUFB Program for SNAP participants.
“The Co-op was the first grocery store in NYS to offer the program and it’s grown year over year; since 2020 we’ve served more than 1,400 customers. We’re thankful for their continued partnership and excited to make the switch, which will allow shoppers the ability to earn more and choose when they spend. Double Up continues to be a win-win-win,” said Lisa French, co-founder and Executive Director of Field & Fork Network, which administers the Double Up Food Bucks program in New York State. “Low-income families bring home more healthy food, local farmers sell more produce, and more food dollars stay in the local economy.”
DUFB Program Stats at Lexington Co-op:
- From 2020 to 2022, redemptions increased 157%, from $48,540 to $124, 841.
- In 2022, participants of DUFB saved $108,000.
- There are over 1,420 participants in the co-op’s DUFB program.
- So far in 2023, more than 100 NEW participants have registered for DUFB.
- Sales to SNAP participants at the co-op account for 4.43% of total sales.
About Lexington Co-op
In March 1971, thirty-three people decided to buy their groceries together in bulk, leading to the formation of the Lexington Real Foods Community Co-op on Lexington Avenue in the Elmwood Village. The original thirty-three eventually became many more, and it was time for the Co-op to move to a larger location. In 2005, Lexington Cooperative Market opened at 807 Elmwood Ave and later expanded to second location at 1678 Hertel Avenue in 2017. The Co-op is community-owned by 20,000 members. Everyone is welcome to shop.
About Double Up Food Bucks NY
Double Up Food Bucks NY is a statewide nutrition incentive program, administered by Field & Fork Network that provides SNAP participants with a dollar-for-dollar match to increase affordability and access to fresh healthy foods at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and grocery stores. In New York State, Double Up has contributed to 4.8 million pounds of healthy food sales to over 100,000 SNAP shoppers, at more than 220 sites spanning 29 counties. To learn more about Double Up Food Bucks and a complete list of participating sites, please visit the program website and social media sites, or call 1-800-682-5016.