Assemblyman Meeks, Field & Fork Network & Foodlink Announce $2 Million State Appropriation

Assemblyman Meeks joins Field & Fork Network and Foodlink to announce, for the first time in the program’s history, its inclusion in the New York State Budget. Double Up Food Bucks NY received bipartisan support for the $2 Million allocation; the funding will allow the statewide program to expand services to approximately 100,000 SNAP recipients and the opportunity to leverage an additional $2Million in federal funding, going directly to farmers, small businesses, and local economies.

Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) is a national nutrition incentive program operated by the Field & Fork Network, that matches SNAP eligible purchases $1 for $1, up to $20 per day, to purchase fruits and vegetables. Its benefits are three-fold: a win for New York farmers selling more produce; a win for low income families putting more healthy food on their tables; and a win for local businesses and economies. Since 2014, DUFB NY has served 32,000+ SNAP households, across 29 counties, generating over $4.8
Million in healthy food sales.

“We’re thankful for Assemblyman Meeks support and lucky to have lawmakers who champion innovative ways to make a real difference for people in their districts,” said Lisa French, Executive Director of Field & Fork Network.”

“Accessibility to fresh and organic food is essential for the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Assemblymember Demond Meeks. “As prices rise nationally and families struggle to make ends meet, it is important that we take necessary steps to prevent food insecurity and promote affordable, healthy options within our neighborhoods. In partnership with Foodlink, this vital program will be a major benefit to low-income families in Rochester without access to healthier food options, living on limited budgets for groceries. Resources such as these will also ensure we deliver direct support to small businesses, farmers, and the local economy. I am glad that we were successful in securing funding for this important benefit to thousands of New Yorkers. I want to thank the Field & Fork Network as well as the members and staff of Foodlink for their dedication to the health and welfare of the members of our community. I also want to thank my state colleagues for demonstrating their support for underserved communities throughout New York. Together, We Are Stronger!” 

Double Up Food Bucks is offered at Foodlink’s Curbside Market, a mobile market with 55 locations across Rochester and the surrounding communities. Foodlink began partnering with Double Up Food Bucks in 2016. Last year, the market redeemed nearly $40,000 in DUFB sales, which accounted for more than 20 percent of overall sales for the market. This has been particularly beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a nationwide boost in SNAP benefits has allowed families to buy healthier foods and stretch their food budgets further through incentive programs like this.

“The Curbside Market has been a proud partner with the Field & Fork Network for more than 5 years, and our loyal customers truly appreciate the value that Double of Food Bucks adds to the shopping experience,” said Julia Tedesco, President & CEO of Foodlink. “Thank you to Assemblymember Meeks and all of the advocates around the state for this critical funding that will allow the Curbside Market and other vendors to continue to expand access to healthy food, in the communities that need it most.” This appropriation is an investment in health because it makes fresh produce more accessible. It’s an investment in farmers because they can sell more of the goods they grow. And it’s an investment in families so they, and their communities, can thrive.

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