Food benefits doubled as Greater Good Grocery celebrates one-year anniversary

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(Sarah Gager/WSKG)

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — SNAP food benefits are doubled at the Greater Good Grocery in the City of Binghamton until April.

“We want this for people especially with the food prices raising,” said General Manager Kinya Middleton. “This will definitely stretch someone’s budget.”

Kinya Middleton speaking at a press event at the Greater Good Grocery store on Binghamton’s North Side. (Phoebe Taylor-Vuolo/WSKG)

Middleton said fewer customers come later in the month, as people’s benefits run out. In December, the store started a program which doubled the SNAP dollars used toward produce. This program extends to all products.

Funding for the program comes through the United Way and the SUNY incubator project, which supports starts-ups and small businesses.

Although the store is open for everyone to shop, Greater Good Grocery launched as a way to address a need in the North Side of Binghamton. The section of the city was designated a food desert with no access to fresh, healthy foods, for 25 years. People relied on gas stations for food, or had to travel to shop at a grocery store.

Middleton has been with the store since the beginning, when it opened a year ago. She said products were limited then and they built inventory based on customers’ suggestions.

“We pride ourselves in getting things that the customers need because the store is a community store.”

One major product they still lack is fresh meat. Middleton is hopeful they will have that in stock before the end of the month.

According to Feeding America, 24,620 Broome County residents are food insecure.