Acting Mayor Kim Janey is looking to expand a successful program already up and running at some bodegas and corner stores in East Boston.
The city’s Double Up Food Bucks program has increased the buying power of SNAP recipients in Eastie for fresh fruits and vegetables.
The program was launched in 2018 at nine bodegas and corner stores in Eastie, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan and customers participating in the program have redeemed over $500,000 worth of fruit and vegetable incentives at participating local stores. The program has allowed families with SNAP benefits to buy more healthy foods, help grocers gain new customers, and keep more food dollars within the local economy.
Last week, Janey and the Mayor’s Office of Food Access (OFA) announced that OFA has been awarded $500,000 through the USDA Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) grant to continue and expand the Boston Double Up Food Bucks program throughout the City. The Mayor’s Office of Food Access will also contribute $500,000 in funds and in kind, totalling $1 million in support to expand equitable access to affordable fruits and vegetables.
As part of the expansion plan, the City of Boston is calling on all bodegas and corner stores in Eastie and across the city to apply to be a part of the Double Up Food Bucks program
“Everyone deserves access to affordable, nutritious meals,” said Janey. “Especially during the pandemic, the health of our residents is paramount. This program helps Boston residents, while also aiding our small businesses. I encourage any eligible store owner interested to apply and take advantage of this opportunity.”
Janey said the goal of the program and its expansion is to incentivize and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables. SNAP beneficiaries who shop at participating stores and use their EBT to pay for fresh fruits and vegetables can get a 50 percent discount of up to $10 on their produce purchase per day.
“As part of the Double Up Food Bucks expansion plan, the City of Boston is looking to partner with more small grocery stores, bodegas and corner stores to bring affordable, fresh produce to their community,” she said. “Through this partnership, participating stores will receive technical assistance, including one-on-one training, monthly visits and calls, program performance report, and program coaching.”
Those wishing to participate or get more information should call 617-635-3717.