Boston: Mayor Walsh calls on neighborhood grocery stores, Bodegas and Corner stores to join double up food bucks program

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Food Access today announced the City of Boston is looking to support and partner with more small grocery stores, bodegas or corner stores to bring affordable fresh produce to their community as part of the Boston Double Up Food Bucks program, which will expand SNAP to more stores. Additionally, through this partnership, participating stores will receive technical assistance from the City of Boston. This will include one-on-one training, monthly visits and calls, program performance report, and program coaching.

The Double Up Food Bucks program is a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) incentive program that reduces hunger and improves the access to healthy food by offering 50 percent off fresh fruits and vegetables at participating stores. SNAP customers can get a daily discount of up to $10, and stores are then reimbursed the discount that customers receive.




"The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for families to put food on the table, and the City of Boston has made it our mission to ensure no one in our city goes hungry," said Mayor Walsh. "The Double Up Food Bucks program makes SNAP benefits go farther, and helps residents get the fresh, nutritious food they need. I encourage stores to opt into this important program, and help both their businesses, and their communities."

In 2019, an additional 85 percent of SNAP transactions were reported under Double Up Food Bucks, compared to 2018. This means more families have additional money to spend on other needs, and small stores have increased demand for fresh produce. Technical assistance will be provided to all stores participating in the program. This will include updated POS systems, store improvement, marketing support, one-on-one training and more.

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Neighborhood grocery stores, bodegas and corner stores interested in participating in the Double Up Food Bucks should fill this form. To learn more about the program, please call  617-635-3717 or visit here.

The stores already participating are Daily Table and Davey's Super Market, serving Dorchester and Roxbury. Currently, the Double Up Food Bucks program is being expanded to East Boston bodegas in the coming weeks.

"The program is great, the clients love it. They even plan their spending around it," said Maria Teixeira of Davey's Supermarket in Dorchester.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Walsh has been dedicated to ensuring food access for residents of Boston. Most recently, he announced the expansion of food access for immigrant populations in the City of Boston. Using grants provided by the Boston Resiliency Fund, Fair Foods will be able to continue and expand their supply of fresh produce to immigrant-serving nonprofits, which will be distributed to the community. In particular, the City of Boston and Fair Foods are prioritizing using these funds to increase food access to immigrants who are unable to access state and federal assistance.

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Additionally, since Boston Public Schools closed in March, over three million free meals have been distributed at sites around the City, including locations at Boston Public Schools, the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, the Boston Housing Authority, the YMCA and community organizations. Boston Public Schools continues to provide meal delivery to students who regularly receive door-to-door transportation.

The Boston Resiliency Fund (BRF) has granted over $15 million to organizations devoted to helping Bostonians with access to food and other basic needs like hygiene products, cleaning supplies and diapers. The BRF's $2 million of contributions to the Greater Boston Food Bank have supported the distribution of enough food for 1.2 million meals, with a portion of funding helping to establish a City program that has delivered over 375,000 pounds of food to public housing and senior households.

The Boston Resiliency Fund has also granted Project Bread with funding to develop and implement a public awareness campaign to promote Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment and utilization, targeting SNAP gap households and other eligible but unenrolled families. These funds provide operational and additional language support to the FoodSource Hotline to meet the increased demand on SNAP applications and train community-based organizations and health centers to screen for SNAP eligibility and support with applications. Using the Boston Resiliency Fund grant, Project Bread trained over 100 organizations, including 40 immigrant-serving nonprofits.

About the Mayor's Office of Food Access

The mission of the Mayor's Office of Food Access is to improve equitable access to nutritious food with respect to affordability, physical accessibility, and cultural connectedness. In pursuit of this mission, OFA will foster a more food secure community with vibrant, inclusive food culture, reflective of the diverse residents of the City.stats

Filed Under: Government, City

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