Good food bus
Discounts and more ways
to stay connected
The Good Food Bus Membership Program was developed based on feedback received during community listening sessions and was piloted in the 2018 season. It was a means to help us better understand customer habits and preferences while helping to close the gap between the real cost of fresh, local food and the costs of living for many of our neighbors who face food insecurity.
We had 700 people sign up for our Membership Program pilot, and 1,100 new Members sign up in the first full season of the program, which we see as a huge success. Shoppers were encouraged to return to the market week-after-week to receive punches on their punch cards while others took advantage of savings at checkout by shopping at a neighborhood location. From the data we collected, we were able to track the frequency of visits from members as well as trends in their spending habits. These could both ultimately help inform our decision making in future seasons.
Making good food more accessible for all is the cornerstone of the Good Food Bus. In the winter of 2018 we held listening sessions across the community and heard time and again from people that they would buy more fresh, local fruits and vegetables if they could afford the cost. We also heard from farmers that their retail prices were just barely enough to make a living. We learned that because of policy changes, one of the most successful federal programs at thwarting food insecurity, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is no longer available for many residents.
In response to this feedback, we developed the Good Food Bus Neighborhood Membership Program. The Neighborhood Membership program increases access to fresh food by lowering cost barriers, while also creating a means of community investment in the Good Food Bus. Residents who sign up for free membership receive a 50% discount on fresh fruits and vegetables each time they shop at a neighborhood market stop in downtown Lewiston. The discount is applied only when a shopper uses cash, credit or check as using SNAP/EBT triggers access to the Maine Harvest Bucks program.
The program not only helps shoppers who no longer receive benefits at all but those who had run out of benefits towards the end of the month. Members also receive text reminders about the stop, newsletters, and nutrition tips and recipes. Membership helps bridge the gap between the real cost of fresh, local food while continuing to provide a livelihood for local farmers and strengthening our local food system.
At our business market locations, members get access to frequent shopper benefits. Many business location shoppers already receive an incentive from the host site, so at these locations, the membership serves as encouragement to become a return shopper. Members at business stop locations are also eligible for to receive weekly newsletters and text message reminders.
Become a Good food bus Member
It's free to sign up!
Sign up to be a Good Food Bus member this season! It's free to join and you can sign in person at any of our market stops. A membership with the GFB gets you exclusive access to extended recipes and cooking tips, direct access to newsletters, and additional coupons and discounts.