JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (July 2, 2015) – The Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market, presented by WCA Hospital, hosted a press event today to kick off Field and Fork Network’s Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program and announce an expansion of the program into New York’s southern tier. The announcement was made by New York State Senator Catharine Young, Univera Healthcare, Field and Fork Network, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.
The DUFB program increases access to and the affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income residents who also receive SNAP benefits by matching their money spent at a participating farmers market. The robust incentive ($1 for $1 match up to $20 per visit, per day) encourages healthier eating habits and the redirection of federal food assistance dollars into the local food and agriculture economy.
“Agriculture is at the heart of our state’s economy and heritage. It is no surprise that Western New York farms grow high quality fruits, vegetables, and other products and then sell them at farmer’s markets throughout the region,” said Senator Young. “I am excited to see the Double Up Food Bucks program expand to new farmer’s markets this year, increasing the availability of these locally-grown farm products for families who might otherwise have limited access to fresh, healthy food.”
Field and Fork Network, along with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Harvest NY, piloted the program at seven farmers markets during the 2014 season. Due to the tremendous success of the program, the organization is expanding it to 15 farmers markets this season.
Major funders of the DUFB program include the John R Oishei Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, First Niagara Foundation, East Hill Foundation, Grigg Lewis Foundation, M&T Foundation, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, and Univera Healthcare. Univera Healthcare is also a major funder of the Jamestown farmers market along with title sponsor WCA Hospital.
“Univera Healthcare has a history of working with farmers markets in our communities and on efforts to improve the health of people in those areas,” said Richard Vienne, DO, VP and Chief Medical Officer for Univera Healthcare. “We have provided support to several farmers markets, including the Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market for four years. In that same vein, Univera Healthcare is pleased to commit to funding the Double Up Food Bucks program for the next three years for a total of $22,500.”
The DUFB program runs now through October 31, 2015. Communities with farmers markets that accept the DUFB program include Franklinville, Olean, Salamanca, Fredonia, Buffalo, Lockport, North Tonawanda, and Jamestown.
“We’re proud to partner with Senator Young, Univera Healthcare, Field and Fork Network, and Cornell Cooperative Extension to offer this beneficial program at our farmers market here in Jamestown,” said Greg Lindquist, Executive Director for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. “Although we are a small city, many families in our community are living in poverty just like larger cities in the region. These families do not always have access to healthy food options based on where they live. Our market aims to remedy that by being positioned in the heart of the city.”
For more information on the Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market or to learn how you can become a vendor, visit www.jamestownrenaissance.org or call 716-664-2477. For more information on the Double Up Food Bucks program, visit www.fieldandforknetwork.com or call 1-800-682-5016.
The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is a nonprofit organization that supports downtown and neighborhood revitalization in Jamestown, NY, by promoting reinvestment, stakeholder engagement, and innovation.
Pictured from left: Greg Lindquist, Executive Director for Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, NYS Senator Catharine Young (R, C, IP), Lisa Tucker, Co-founder and Executive Director for Field and Fork Network, Cheryl Thayer, Agricultural Economic Development for Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Dr. Richard Vienne, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Univera Healthcare.