Increasing Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

I’ve always enjoyed listening to more than just music on the radio while driving. Sometimes it’s podcasts; sometimes it’s news. Listening to something educational or informative gives me the feeling of completing something more than just my thirty-minute drive to work. Sometimes listening can spark ideas.

One day last summer, it was one such time. At the Co-op we had been looking at ways to increase access to fruit and vegetables for populations in need, but we were encountering some hurdles. How would we facilitate a program? Who is more in need? Questions like these would need to be answered. Driving in one morning, there was a news segment on about small retailers scattered around New Hampshire who were participating in a new pilot program coordinated by the Fair Food Network. The goal of the program was to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for SNAP participants. Similar to programs like Granite State Market Match run at Farmers Markets, SNAP participants could double their purchases of fruits and vegetables. But through this program, it could be done at the grocery store.

It was a concept that we were interested in, and so we reached out to the Fair Food Network to learn more about the program. FFN was interested in finding more retailers in New Hampshire to partner with and to extend this program throughout more in the state. We worked throughout the winter to find a way to run the program through our new register systems and develop how the program would work here at the Co-op.

Now, we’re happy to announce that the Hanover, Lebanon, and White River Junction Co-op Food Stores will offer the Double Up Food Bucks Program for those customers who are SNAP participants.

Customers who use EBT cards at our stores can stop at the Member Services desk to sign up for the program and receive a Double Up Coupon Card. This card gives the customer 50 percent off fresh fruits and vegetables (up to $10 per day).

We’re very excited about the program and how it will increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for SNAP participants. This program will benefit local farmers as well. How? At the Co-op, we’ve made a commitment to local farmers. Once the local harvest season starts, customers will have access to lots of different fresh local produce to choose from. Not only does the program stretch SNAP dollars for participants, but it gives back dollars to the local farmers in our community as well.

Want to learn more about Double Up Food Bucks? Contact us at Comment@coopfoodstore.com or speak to Member Services at 603-643-2667.

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Emily Rogers

Emily Rogers

Emily Rogers is the Co-op's member education manager. Contact her at erogers at coopfoodstore dot com.