(07/09/20) GREENSBURG, La. — The St. Helena Farmers Market has announced it will match SNAP spending on fresh fruits and vegetables.
The match program offers $3 in free tokens for every $1 spent on eligible foods using SNAP EBT benefits. SNAP recipients simply visit the welcome tent, swipe their EBT card and receive up to $45 extra to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at the market.
“The SNAP match program allows members of the community to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at a lower cost compared to the grocery store,” said Warner Hall, a vendor at the St. Helena Farmers Market. “It is an opportunity to expand and improve my business while interacting directly with community.”
SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, provides nutrition assistance to low-income families and individuals. SNAP recipients receive benefits on an EBT card, or electronic benefit transfer card, which is used to purchase eligible foods from participating SNAP vendors.
“We are very excited to make the farmers market more accessible through this incentive program,” said Makenzie Miller, local food systems coordinator for LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities. “We are hopeful that the program will bring new faces to the market — both new customers looking to stretch their SNAP benefits and local producers interested in selling at the market.”
The Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA), in partnership with LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities, received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) to assist farmers markets in launching new match programs.
GusNIP aims to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables purchased by SNAP recipients by providing point-of-purchase incentives. The St. Helena Farmers Market is one of two markets in Louisiana benefitting from this grant program.
“Accepting SNAP at the market means we are increasing access to fresh, local food for individuals with low incomes, and it also benefits farmers by bringing new shoppers to the market and increasing sales,” said Allison Tohme, director of Regional Farmers Market Development for CLEDA. “Offering the match allows SNAP customers to stretch their dollars further, so they’ll get more bang for their buck.”
The St. Helena Farmers Market operates every Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Double R Hometown Hardware in Greensburg. The market briefly closed due to concerns about COVID-19 but has since reopened with increased safety measures, including a handwashing station and customer guidelines.
For more information about the St. Helena Farmers Market SNAP match program, contact Marquetta Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture