City Green's Good Food Bucks SNAP Nutrition Incentive Program has received $500,000 from the State of New Jersey. A budget resolution appropriating funds to the program was sponsored by State Senate Majority Leader Ruiz and Assemblyman McKeon, and co-sponsored by Senators Gill and Burgess and Assemblywomen Sumter, McKnight, Murphy, and Park was passed as part of New Jersey's 2024 State Budget. City Green will use the new investment to increase the Good Food Bucks funding for farmers markets up to $10,000 per market and add three new supermarkets into the program.
“Making fresh produce more accessible is a key component in making it easier for families to make healthy choices,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Through the Good Food Bucks program, residents’ SNAP benefits are doubled at participating farmers markets, allowing them to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables, all while supporting local farmers. I was proud to support this valuable program in this year’s budget and I look forward to seeing the impact it has on residents all over the Garden State.”
The Good Food Buck program provides customers who use SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) with Good Food Bucks that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. A customer earns Good Food Buck incentive dollars when they use SNAP to purchase fresh produce at any of the 35 participating NJ farmers markets and retailers in 10 counties. The funding from the state will create more opportunities and access points for customers to earn and spend Good Food Bucks. Additionally, the state funding for Good Food Bucks will be utilized to leverage even greater federal and foundation grants.
Increased fruit and vegetable purchases, consumption
Improved food security
Expanded economic benefits for participants, farmers, and food retailers
To date, 25 states have provided state appropriations to SNAP Incentive programs in their respective states. The $500,000 award from New Jersey to Good Food Bucks marks NJ's first state appropriation such an initiative and paves the way for greater opportunities to ensure affordable, healthy, fresh produce for residents. Lawmakers like Senator Ruiz and groups such as the New Jersey Farm Bureau, the American Heart Association, and the New Jersey Food Security Initiative have amplified City Green's advocacy efforts to secure this ground-breaking collaboration between the community-based food access organization and the State of New Jersey.
"We are extremely grateful to Senator Ruiz and the state of New Jersey for this new partnership and support. We are committed to the responsible stewardship of this public investment and are excited to share with our citizen neighbors that newly released data shows the economic impact of Good Food Bucks goes beyond the cash register at the farm stand. SNAP Incentives create an economic multiplier effect that impacts local economies. More Good Food Bucks ultimately means more folks will be eating more fresh fruits and vegetables that they purchased from a local farmer. This is a triple win for New Jersey" said Jasmine Moreano, City Green's Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy.
Currently in its 12th year of operation, Good Food Bucks are offered at over 30 farmers' markets in 13 New Jersey counties. Additionally Good Food Bucks can be earned and redeemed at the Shop Rite of Newark, Shop Rite of East Orange, and the Dry Goods Refillery in Montclair. To learn more and to locate a Good Food Bucks site near you, visit our website GoodFoodBucks.com
Good Food Bucks Economic Impact Report