SpartanNash Expands Healthy Food Incentive Program

Jim Dudlicek
Editorial Director
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SpartanNash is expanding its participation in the Double Up Food Bucks healthy food incentive program, bringing on an additional 29 stores, for a total of 46 Family Fare Supermarkets, VG’s and ValuLand locations throughout Michigan.

Double Up Food Bucks matches Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables with a financial benefit to local growers as participating stores prioritize local sourcing.

“Sourcing and selling local Michigan produce is a key strategic priority for us, as is supporting our store guests with programs like Double Up,” said Larry Pierce, EVP of merchandising and marketing for SpartanNash. “We strive to offer the largest 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.”

Helping SNAP Recipients Eat Healthier

SpartanNash’s participation in Double Up is a key component of the company’s corporate responsibility efforts and reaffirms the company’s commitment to offer SNAP customers more buying power for fresh fruits and vegetables. Last year, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) honored SpartanNash for its work in the Double Up Food Bucks initiative, naming the company the top program addressing food insecurity at the FMI 2016 Community Outreach Awards.

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

(At ValuLand stores, which do not participate in the Yes loyalty program, the customer will get half of the produce free, up to $20 a day.)

This is the fourth year that SpartanNash has offered the Double Up program at its retail stores and the first year the company is participating under multiple banners.

National Model for Incentives

The Double Up produce incentive program is a national model for healthy food incentives active in 23 states with support from federal, state and private sources.

“SpartanNash understood early on the power of produce incentives to better serve its customer and the broader community,” said Oran Hesterman, president and CEO of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Fair Food Network, which first launched the Double Up Food Bucks program in 2009. “We appreciate SpartanNash’s continued partnership to bring this proven public-private partnership to more stores across the state.”

SpartanNash is the only major grocery retail chain in Michigan with multiple stores participating in the Double Up program. This year, Double Up is available at more than 160 farmers' markets, farm stands and other retailer outlets, as well as more than 100 full-service grocery stores, including many SpartanNash independent customers.

In 2014, SpartanNash became the first major grocery retail chain in Michigan to support the Double Up Food Bucks program. Since then, the company has invested more than $150,000 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 earn and redeem Double Up dollars for fresh produce.

To date, SpartanNash has partnered with more than 100 community organizations, including 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.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers, national accounts, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries. SpartanNash serves customer locations in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt.

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