Growing community health and wealth through food

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, independent grocers in the Northeast were forced to adapt their businesses seemingly overnight. Simultaneously, food insecure shoppers faced increasing challenges to feeding their families.

As founder and CEO at Fair Food Network Oran Hesterman wrote in his May 2020 op-ed, “This pandemic is giving us a wake-up call about the fragility of our supply chains, especially the one on which we all depend: food”.

As the waves of uncertainty due to the pandemic continued to roll in month after month, a few institutions held firm, anchoring these businesses and their customers alike, to reliable food sources to help weather the storm. In New Hampshire and neighboring states, the network of local farms continued to plant, harvest and deliver fresh produce daily, supplying grocers and customers with healthy food when they needed it most. As this case study explores, a resilient local food system combined with nutrition incentive programs like Double Up Food Bucks (Double Up) help fill the gap and meet the needs of grocers and families during challenging times.