Last updated on November 18th, 2016 at 02:47 pm
Mike Beal, COO of Balls Food Stores in Kansas City, Kansas, on Wednesday testified on behalf of the National Grocers Association (NGA) before the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee in a hearing titled “The Past, Present and Future of SNAP: Opportunities for Improving Access to Food.”
In his testimony, Beal shared the positive impacts that Double Up Food Bucks, a healthy food incentive program, has had for the communities Balls Food Stores serves. Beal also outlined the primary goals of the Double Up Food Bucks program, which are to provide access to and increase affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables for recipients of the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—or SNAP—benefits, provide greater opportunities for local farmers to increase their income by selling more produce locally, and to provide more dollars to the local community.
In written testimony, Beal said, “I believe our success with the program has been fantastic for the communities our stores serve and the SNAP customers who are now able to stretch their benefits further while purchasing local produce and supporting local farmers in our communities.”
Beal continued, “Providing a program like Double Up Food Bucks in our stores has allowed our SNAP customers to learn more about healthy eating, to try new produce and to stretch their SNAP dollars further, without spending more out of their pockets.”
NGA President and CEO Peter J. Larkin added, “Every day, America’s independent supermarkets play a vital role in their communities by providing affordable quality food choices. Many of our NGA retail members have found that programs that focus on nutrition education combined with customer incentives to make healthy food choices, like Double Up Food Bucks, are good for business and the communities they serve. I applaud the committee for holding a hearing on this issue as it will encourage other retailers to get involved.”