A story run on ABC 6 News this week highlights the importance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for southeastern Minnesota residents.
Promoting healthy food access at the farmers market is an important part of our mission and role in the community. To help SNAP users purchase local food, we offer a matching program for customers spending their EBT food benefit at the market:
“It works just like a grocery store,” said Jess Joyce, the market manager. “I can come to the market and swipe my EBT card and get money to spend with all the vendors. There's a program that's sponsored by the State of Minnesota called "Market Bucks" where if you spend $10 in EBT at the farmers market, you actually get a bonus $10.”
Which means SNAP recipients are able to stretch their benefits twice as far.
“The customers that use their food stamps at the market are some of our most loyal customers and we see them out every week at a Saturday's farmers market,” said Joyce. “Twenty to 40 customers take advantage of that program every weekend.”
You can learn more about Market Bucks from Minnesota Hunger Solutions.