‘Double Dollars’ Launch Demonstrates SNAP’s Value to Consumers and Independent Supermarkets

July 30, 2020

Arlington, VA ( July 30, 2020) The National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TAC) has completed coordination of the technical and program aspects of a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) produce incentive implementation, known as “Kentucky Double Dollars,” between project partners Manchester IGA, Community Farm Alliance (CFA) and technology solution provider POS-Plus, LLC. The program was officially launched at the store on June 22, 2020.

SNAP produce incentives are designed to encourage SNAP clients to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets. As part of Kentucky Double Dollars, when SNAP clients purchase a minimum $10 of any SNAP eligible items at Manchester IGA using their SNAP EBT card, the point-of-sale system (POS) 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. Coupons are single use and any unused value is forfeited by the customer.

This Kentucky Double Dollars incentive project was proposed, planned and successfully implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020 and ends Oct. 31, 2020. The NGAF TAC provided guidance for project planning, POS transaction design, onsite initial POS system testing and 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,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA Foundation president and president and CEO of NGA. “Increased sales of healthier foods like fruits and vegetables are a win-win for consumers and supermarket operators.”

Mickey Lawson, director of information technology for Manchester IGA, believes the SNAP fresh produce incentive program is a rare opportunity to demonstrate both nutritional and economic value for SNAP shoppers. Manchester IGA owner Jed Weinberg said he “considers participation in the program as a point of differentiation from other area food retailers.”

Kentucky Double Dollars programs already exist statewide in farmers markets and in one retail food cooperative. According to CFA Food Access Program Director Brittany Steffey, the Manchester IGA project is an expansion of the Kentucky Double Dollars program into a pilot project at a retail grocery store.

“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,” Steffey said. “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 NGAF TAC worked with the Manchester IGA technology staff and POS-Plus to conceptualize and develop a transaction that would work within the LOC Supermarket Management Suite (LOC/SMS) POS system. The transaction developed automatically recognizes a qualifying SNAP transaction and prints a bar-coded coupon, determines product eligibility for a SNAP incentive issuance and redemption, works when a customer uses combinations of SNAP, WIC, credit/debit or cash, does not require cashier intervention at issuance, only requires cashiers to scan the coupon for redemption and satisfies reporting requirements.

Bob Satterfield, owner of POS-Plus, LLC said, “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. We look forward to the opportunity to assist other customers with implementations of this beneficial new program.”

The Kentucky Double Dollars program has been running smoothly without technical or operational difficulties since the ‘soft launch’ on June 15, 2020. Weekly redemption growth for the initial four weeks of the program is promising, with an average increase of 43% during the first month.

About National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TAC): As a proud partner of the Nutrition Incentive Hub, NGAF TAC helps address the challenges grocers and supermarket operators face in establishing nutrition incentive programs. The NGAF TAC is a resource for grocers and supermarket operators across the country and there are no fees or NGA membership requirements for use of NGAF TAC services. Contact NGAF TAC at incentives@nationalgrocers.org.

About Community Farm Alliance: Community Farm Alliance is a statewide membership organization that works to organize and encourage cooperation among rural and urban citizens in Kentucky through leadership development and grassroots democratic processes to ensure an essential, prosperous place for family-scale agriculture in our economies and communities. CFA envisions a food and fiber system that provides nutritious food for Kentuckians in a manner that is socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. https://cfaky.org/.

About Manchester IGA: Manchester IGA is a modern 32,000-square-foot, full-service supermarket located in the rural Appalachian Mountains city of Manchester, Ky. The store is a remodeled former Winn-Dixie facility featuring full-service produce, fresh meat and deli departments. The store offers customers a digital coupon program and the store POS system is a LOC Supermarket Management Suite system installed by POS-Plus approximately three years ago. The store is part of CW Foods LLC, a four-store group owned by Jed Weinberg. More store information is available at https://manchesteriga1.com/.

About POS-Plus, LLC: Located in Marion, IL, POS Plus, LLC specializes in providing grocery and supermarket retailers with tools to meet the challenges of achieving greater efficiency, effective loss prevention, improved inventory control along with technologies providing enhanced digital interactions with customers. In addition to providing state-of-art POS systems, a team of programmers, support staff and experienced installation personnel are available to support retailers. Learn more at www.pos-plus.com.

About the Nutrition Incentive Hub: The Nutrition Incentive Hub, funded through a cooperative agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is a new national resource that provides training, technical assistance, reporting, and evaluation for those working to launch or expand SNAP incentives or produce prescription programs. The Hub is led by the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition in partnership with Fair Food Network, along with a coalition of evaluators, researchers, practitioners, and grocery and farmers market experts from across the country dedicated to strengthening and uniting the best thinking in the field to increase access to affordable, healthy food to those who need it most. Learn more at https://www.nutritionincentivehub.org