Thursday, July 7, 2011

Member Feature: Adams County Farmers Market Association

This summer, families will be able to double their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) federal benefits when they purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at Adams County Farm Fresh Markets. The Adams County Farmer’s Market Association secured funding through Wellspan Health and local businesses for this program as part of its goal to increase access to and consumption of locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

The Adams County Farmers Market Association is piloting the Double Dollar Program for SNAP recipients at three farmers markets this season – on Wednesdays at the Gettysburg Recreation Park as well as on Fridays and Saturdays at the Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg. The program will distribute $2,000 to families and individuals receiving SNAP benefits throughout the market season. South Central Community Action Programs Inc., the Gettysburg Area School District and direct mailings will assist in getting the word out to the over 7,000 individuals receiving SNAP benefits in Adams County.

The Double Dollar Program is simple: SNAP recipients can swipe their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and the market staff person will match the amount up to 10 dollars. For example, spend $10 of SNAP benefits at the market and receive $20 in tokens to use at vendors who offer SNAP eligible foods like fruit, vegetables, bread, meat and eggs.

Supported through grant funding received by Capital Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Area Council and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Adams County Farmers Market Association implemented EBT services in 2010. The benefit of EBT technology is three-fold: healthier populations due to greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables; improved environment through the retention of local farms; and a stronger economy as more consumers connect with area growers.

Each market location is experiencing the increase in both foot traffic and sales from SNAP consumers shopping weekly at area farmers' markets.  For more information on the Association's Community Outreach program, visit the associations website.

Kathleen Glahn


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