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09/20/2021

Three Guys from Brooklyn Promotes Nutrition Incentives

Independent grocer teams with NGA Foundation Technical Assistance Center on videos
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
Bridget Goldschmidt profile picture
Three Guys from Brooklyn Promotes Nutrition Incentives Get the Good Stuff
Three Guys from Brooklyn Front End Manager Carlos Pineda appears in NGAF TA Center's video on the store's nutrition incentive program.

Independent grocery store Three Guys from Brooklyn has joined forces with the National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TA Center) to create testimonial and informational videos on the store’s positive experience running a nutrition incentive program.

The store, located in the borough’s Bay Ridge neighborhood, has offered a program called Get the Good Stuff through a partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for more than a year. In 2019, the Health Department introduced Get the Good Stuff, backed by a USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant and in partnership with the Fund for Public Health New York City. Since the program began, more than 8,500 New York SNAP recipients have enrolled and redeemed $1.5 million-plus worth of fruit and vegetable incentives.

“We’re very reliant on our community; it’s a big part of our business model,” said Phil Penta, co-owner and operator of Three Guys from Brooklyn, one of the few remaining open-air produce markets in New York City. “So anything we can do to get more healthy options in their hands for cheaper, we’re always interested in that. This program felt like a good fit, and I think that’s why we’ve seen success with it.” 

Penta also noted upticks in both produce sales and customer loyalty. “It makes good business sense, and it makes good sense for the community,” he observed.

The program was rolled out under a model in which Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers receive a dollar-for-dollar match on fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruits, vegetables and beans. Shoppers may earn up to $10 a day, which goes on an electronic benefit card that can be redeemed either during the transaction or on a future visit. Three Guys from Brooklyn is fully reimbursed by the Health Department for all incentives redeemed by SNAP shoppers.

To share this success story and encourage more food retailers to implement nutrition incentive programs in their own stores, the NGAF TA Center has created two videos showing the success of the program at Three Guys from Brooklyn. The videos, including a testimonial, will be shown at the 2021 NGA Show, taking place Sept. 19-21, at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. 

The NGAF TA Center helps address the challenges encountered by grocers and supermarket operators in establishing nutrition incentive programs, with no fees or NGA membership requirements for the use of technical assistance services. The NGA Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the Washington, D.C.-based National Grocers Association, the trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry.

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