SpartanNash’s Family Fare Brings Back Double Up Food Bucks

June 1, 2017
Source: Progressive Grocer

SNAP shoppers get easier access to fresh fruits, veggies

SpartanNash will again offer the Double Up Food Bucks program to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers at 17 Family Fare stores in western, southern and northern Michigan. The produce incentive program is a public-private partnership pioneered by Ann Arbor, Mich.-based nonprofit Fair Food Network. The company is the only major grocery retail chain in Michigan with multiple stores taking part in the Double Up program, which is also available at more than 200 farmers’ markets, farm stands and other retailers, as well as 40-plus grocery stores, among them many of SpartanNash’s independent customers.

This is the fourth year that SpartanNash has offered the program at select Family Fare locations. This year, Double Up Food Bucks will run through Dec. 31

For each dollar of fresh produce SNAP customers buy using a Bridge Card and SpartanNash’s yes loyalty account, an equivalent amount of dollars will be earned and placed on their yes account. Shoppers can then redeem the Double Up dollars for free fruits and vegetables at participating Family Fare stores, with a maximum dollar-for-dollar match of $20 per day on their yes account.

To boost SNAP customers’ access to fresh produce, SpartanNash and Fair Food Network have expanded the Double Up program this season. SNAP shoppers can now earn or redeem Double Up dollars on any produce at participating Family Fare stores, including Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables.

“Sourcing and selling local Michigan produce is a key strategic priority for us,” noted Larry Pierce, EVP, merchandising and marketing at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash. “In fact, we are working to increase the number of Michigan farmers from whom we purchase produce, as well as the total number of Michigan products sold in our stores. We have an extensive reach in our local growing communities, sourcing a wide range of fruits and vegetables from more than 250 Michigan farmers. We strive to offer the best selection of locally grown produce in our retail stores and to our more than 350 independent customers in Michigan. This ‘local’ commitment includes our local growers and producers as well as our local communities through programs such as Double Up Food Bucks.”

“Double Up Food Bucks is helping low-income families stretch their food dollars while improving their diets and supporting Michigan growers,” said Fair Food Network President and CEO Oran Hesterman. “SpartanNash has been an instrumental partner in scaling Double Up in grocery stores. They understood early on the power of this project as means to better serve its customers and the broader community. We are thankful for SpartanNash’s continued commitment to this project, including strong and growing support of Michigan growers.”

In 2014, SpartanNash became the first major grocery retail chain in Michigan to support Double Up Food Bucks. Since that time, the company has invested more than $100,000 to ensure the success of the program, the majority of which was spent on refining point-of-sale systems to make it easier for SNAP shoppers to take advantage of it.

To date, SpartanNash has teamed with almost 100 community organizations, among them Grand Rapids Public Schools, Feeding America West Michigan, Spectrum Health Healthier Communities and the Heart of West Michigan United Way to inform communities, in both English and Spanish, about the Double Up program.

In 2016, 80 percent of all Double Up dollars earned at participating Family Fare stores by SNAP customers were redeemed.

Currently, Double Up programs are active in more than 20 states with support from federal, state and private sources.

SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers, national accounts, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries. The company serves customer locations in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt. SpartanNash also operates 153 supermarkets, mainly under the Family Fare Supermarkets, Family Fresh Market, D&W Fresh Market, and SunMart banners. Through its MDV military division, the company is the leading distributor of grocery products to U.S. military commissaries.

 

First posted on Progressive Grocer June 1, 2017.