Kentucky Double Dollars Introduced at Independent Grocer
Manchester IGA, Community Farm Alliance (CFA) and technology solution provider POS-Plus LLC, aided by the National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TAC), have launched Kentucky Double Dollars, a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) produce incentive implementation.
The program officially debuted at the store on June 22, with a soft launch on June 15, and will run through Oct. 31.
Under Kentucky Double Dollars, when SNAP clients purchase a minimum $10 of any SNAP- eligible items at Manchester IGA using a SNAP EBT card, the point-of-sale system prints a barcoded coupon for $10 worth of free locally grown Kentucky produce for use during a subsequent shopping trip. The store is fully reimbursed by CFA for redemptions. The unused value of the program’s single-use coupons is forfeited by the customer.
Having provided guidance for project planning, POS transaction design and on-site initial POS system testing, the NGAF TAC is currently involved with monitoring post-implementation progress.
“Implementation of Kentucky Double Dollars by Manchester IGA demonstrates the positive impact this important SNAP initiative has for consumers in need of its benefits, and also for independent grocery retailers aiming to broaden their service to the community,” noted Greg Ferrara, NGA Foundation president and president and CEO of Arlington, Virginia-based NGA. “Increased sales of healthier foods like fruits and vegetables are a win-win for consumers and supermarket operators.”
According to Manchester IGA owner Jed Weinberg, “participation in the program [is] a point of differentiation from other area food retailers.”
Kentucky Double Dollars programs already exist across the Bluegrass State at farmers’ markets and in a retail food cooperative.
“We at CFA are excited to pursue this expansion of the Kentucky Double Dollars Program at Manchester IGA and are grateful for all of the work that has gone into designing a robust new system to optimize the incentive process in the store,” said Brittany Steffey, food access program director for Berea-based CFA. “This partnership with Manchester IGA provides a great opportunity to further our program’s mission of alleviating food insecurity by supporting Kentucky farmers, while reaching even more of the community.”
The POS system developed for the program automatically recognizes a qualifying SNAP transaction and prints a barcoded coupon; determines product eligibility for SNAP incentive issuance and redemption; works when a customer uses combinations of SNAP, WIC, credit/debit or cash; doesn’t require cashier intervention at issuance; only requires cashiers to scan the coupon for redemption; and meets reporting requirements.
“I am proud of my staff in meeting the requirements for this new type of SNAP transaction for our customer – especially as part of our software support program for the store,” said Bob Satterfield, owner of Marion, Illinois-based POS-Plus LLC. “We look forward to the opportunity to assist other customers with implementations of this beneficial new program.”
Weekly redemption growth for the initial four weeks of the program is promising, with an average increase of 43% in the first month.
Manchester IGA is a 32,000-square-foot supermarket located in the rural Appalachian Mountains city of Manchester, Kentucky. The store, a remodeled former Winn-Dixie featuring full-service produce, fresh meat and deli departments, is part of CW Foods LLC, a four-store group owned by Weinberg.
Other recent healthy-incentive “Double Up Food Bucks” SNAP program activations recently occurred at Bashas’ in Arizona and SpartanNash in Michigan. Meanwhile, an online SNAP pilot continues to roll out at food retailers across the country.