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SNAP benefits at the 2018 farmers markets
May 18, 2018 @ 8:00 am - September 15, 2018 @ 1:00 pm
Urban Seeds is administering SNAP benefits at the Downtown Evansville Farmers Market and the Franklin Street Bazaar. This 3-year pilot program has been made possible as a result of the diligent efforts of the Access to Healthy Eating workgroup as part of the Healthy Communities Partnership initiative, as well as generous donations from Welborn Baptist Foundation, Deaconess and St. Vincent healthcare systems and Purdue Extension .
Bringing SNAP to the farmers markets allows for access to fresh produce for community members who have limited access to fresh, nourishing food — which aligns with the mission and vision of Urban Seeds. Being able to now redeem SNAP benefits at the markets not only contributes to the health and wellbeing of our community, but also supports our local farmers–helping to create a vibrant local foods economy.
SNAP vouches are used to buy specific foods in the “staple foods” category: fruits, veggies, bread, meat, dairy, eggs, and cheese. In addition to SNAP we also are able to offer Double Bucks–when redeeming SNAP benefits we are able to match that amount, up to $10 in Double Bucks vouchers — for additional purchase of produce. What a marvelous way to infuse healthy, locally grown fruit and vegetables into family meals!
One additional element of our farmers market participation this season is the offering of Power of Produce (POP) vouchers at the Downtown EVV market. These vouchers are offered to children aged 4 – 12 as an incentive to engage with local farmers and to purchase produce of their own. They can spend the voucher that day or collect one each week to save several that can be used to purchase a more expensive fruit or veggie — for instance, a watermelon! The kids are asked a couple of fun produce questions, such as “name a purple vegetable” or “what fruit grows on a bush”, with hints are provided if needed!
Urban Seeds, as a 501c3 entity, was able to apply for the administration of these benefits through the Food and Nutrition Services of the USDA. We are honored to be part of this collaborative effort on behalf of our community. Come on over to our table at either of the two markets to say hello!