Bashas’ Family of Stores, the Arizona-based operator of Food City supermarkets, is incentivizing shoppers to make healthy choices, as “Arizona’s hometown grocer” expands its participation in the Double Up Food Bucks Arizona program, following a successful pilot at its Bashas’ Diné Market in Window Rock.
Three Food City stores in Yuma and San Luis, Ariz., have been added to the program.
Double Up Food Bucks Arizona doubles the benefit of the food stamp program — or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — at participating locations. For every dollar that shoppers spend on healthy foods using a SNAP EBT card, they receive an additional dollar to spend on healthy foods during their next visit. Eligible healthy foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, food-producing plants and dried beans with no added ingredients.
“We’re always looking for ways to support and encourage healthy choices,” said Edward “Trey” Basha, CEO of Bashas’ Family of Stores, the family-owned grocer that operates Food City, AJ's Fine Foods, Eddie's Country Store and both Bashas' and Bashas' Diné supermarkets. “A program like this one — which encourages nutritious food consumption — builds on our commitment to provide access to healthy options for Arizonans. We look forward to helping this program grow to more of our store locations.”
Customers can earn Double Up Food Bucks each day, in the form of coupons that print at the register, which can be used during their next visit. Coupons expire two months after printing.
“Double Up is a win-win,” said Adrienne Udarbe, executive director of Pinnacle Prevention, which brought Double Up to Arizona in 2016. “Families bring home healthier foods, and more food dollars stay in the local economy. It has a ripple effect of benefits across the community.”
According to Double Up Food Bucks Arizona, due to the impact of the coronavirus and the subsequent economic recession, many Arizonans are currently in need of a hand up, now more than ever, and grocery shoppers overall are looking to eat healthier. The expansion of this program was a natural next step, the organization said.
The Bashas’ Diné Market on Highway 264 and NR12 in Window Rock was one of the first supermarkets in Arizona to participate in the Double Up program.
“We received such a positive response to Double Up in Window Rock that we decided to expand our participation to some of our Food City stores,” said Basha. “Shoppers have told us that their participation in the program has truly changed how they shop, cook and eat.”
The Food City store on Main Street in San Luis, and two Food City stores in Yuma (on 8th Street and on 16th Street) now participate in the program.
Since its launch in Arizona in 2016, Double Up has grown to more than 25 participating locations, including grocery stores, corner stores, farmers markets, farm stands, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) sites, food banks and mobile markets. Double Up will continue to expand to serve more regions throughout the state.
Funding for Double Up comes from the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Nutrition Assistance Produce Incentive Program (NAPIP) and USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI).
Bashas' Family of Stores, founded in 1932, operates more than 100 grocery stores in Arizona.