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Farmers Market offers benefits to local SNAP recipients

 

June 21, 2016

JAN NEILSON, seated, distributes information and matching funds to a customer at the Sweet Home Farmers Market. The banner behind her is from a previous SNAP matching fund grant program.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants are eligible to double the amount they spend at the Sweet Home Farmers Market, up to $10 each week.

That’s an extra $40 a month, said Jan Neilson, manager of the market, which opened June 7 and runs through October.

The matching dollars also can be saved and used at the farmers market on a different day, perhaps when a favorite fruit or vegetable is in season.

The Sweet Home Farmers Market received a two-year grant through Farmers Market Fund, “an independent” nonprofit “companion organization to Portland Farmers Market,” according to a press release.

The Sweet Home market has gotten SNAP reimbursement funding from other grants, and even paid for it out of their own budget at times, since about 2012, Neilson said.

“Funding for the program was initiated by a $500,000 grant from the USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program and $1 million in matching funds from local foundations, corporations and the farmers markets themselves,” according to the release.

“It’s amazing,” Neilson said. “It’s really good for farmers and really good for customers.”

Sweet Home Farmers Market is one of 51 participating markets in Oregon.

Customers are limited to a maximum $10 reimbursement for each visit, but may visit other farmers markets and receive the same benefit, according the frequently asked question section on the Farmers Market Fund website.

The Sweet Home Farmers Market is from 2 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at 12th and Kalmia Streets. In addition to vendors selling all manner of produce and other items, the market features live music each week.

It may be a stretch to visit all of the 50 other markets, but these are nearby:

Lebanon Farmers Market is from 2 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays at Grant and Main streets.

Albany Farmers Market is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays at 4th and Ellsworth streets.

Corvallis Farmers Market is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1st and Jackson streets.

For more information about the Sweet Home market, visit sweethomefarmersmarket.org.

For more information about the Double Up Food Bucks, visit doubleupfoodbucks.org.

 
 
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