The Greeley Farmers’ Market at the Depot announces a new program that provides increased benefits to residents who are on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The new “SNAP it up!” program, funded by a grant through the Wholesome Wave Foundation, will double the value of SNAP benefits redeemed at the Market for the purchase of locally grown fruits and vegetables.
The Greeley Farmers’ Market has accepted electronic benefit transfers (EBT) since 2007 when the Market was approved by the federal Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and received a wireless point-of-sale (POS) machine through the Colorado Farmers’ Market Association to process EBT and debit card transactions. Despite some use of EBT, staff felt there was more opportunity for the Farmers’ Market to meet a need in the community by helping residents access affordable, healthy food and also supporting the local growers who sell at the Market. In late 2011, the Market was recommended to the Wholesome Wave Foundation for a grant that would match shoppers’ SNAP expenditures for buying local produce.
Earlier this year the Market was awarded the grant, which will provide up to $10,000 in Double Value Coupons (DVC) for eligible purchases. When a shopper swipes their EBT card for SNAP coupons, they will receive a matching amount of DVC’s up to $20 per market day. Those coupons must be used to purchase qualifying produce, while regular SNAP coupons may be used for any eligible food purchase.
Karen Scopel, Natural Resources Planner with the City of Greeley oversees the Greeley Farmers’ Market and said, “In addition to helping our economically-challenged residents increase their purchasing power and ability to provide healthy food to their families, our local growers also reap the economic benefit of increased sales.” She went on to note that she previewed the program last fall at Weld Project Connect. When she was describing the program to an attendee, Karen noted that the woman was overwhelmed at the prospect of being able to give her children more healthy produce. “Many of us take for granted our access to healthy, nutritious food; however, many in our community do not have the same opportunity. The “SNAP it up!” program will help address this need.”
The Greeley Farmers’ Market is located at 902 7th Avenue and is open on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 to noon. Information about the Farmers’ Market and the “SNAP it up!” program is available on the City’s web site at www.greeleygov.com/fm or by calling 970-350-9783. Area social and human service agencies have also been provided with information to share with their clients.
Tags: area, benefit, card, City, DVC, EBT, Farmers Market, Food, grant, Greeley, Greeley Farmers Market, greeleygov.com, information, Karen, Karen Scopel, program, SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, value, Wholesome Wave Foundation