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St. Helena Farmers Market matches SNAP benefits

1 month 2 days 12 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 July 10, 2020 8:01 AM July 10, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

GREENSBURG — A farmer's market in Louisiana wants to ensure everyone has access to fresh and nutritional produce. 

The St. Helena Farmers Market announced Thursday that it plans to match SNAP spending on fresh fruits and vegetables.

The match program offers $3 in free tokens for every $1 spent on eligible foods using SNAP EBT benefits. SNAP recipients simply visit the welcome tent, swipe their EBT card and receive up to $45 extra to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at the market.

SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, provides nutrition assistance to low-income families and individuals. SNAP recipients receive benefits on an EBT card, or electronic benefit transfer card, which is used to purchase eligible foods from participating SNAP vendors.

“We are very excited to make the farmers market more accessible through this incentive program,” said Makenzie Miller, local food systems coordinator for LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities. “We are hopeful that the program will bring new faces to the market — both new customers looking to stretch their SNAP benefits and local producers interested in selling at the market.”

The Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA), in partnership with LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities, received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) to assist farmers markets in launching new match programs.

 GusNIP aims to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables purchased by SNAP recipients by providing point-of-purchase incentives. The St. Helena Farmers Market is one of two markets in Louisiana benefitting from this grant program.

The St. Helena Farmers Market operates every Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Double R Hometown Hardware in Greensburg. The market briefly closed due to concerns about COVID-19 but has since reopened with increased safety measures, including a handwashing station and customer guidelines.

For more information about the St. Helena Farmers Market SNAP match program, contact Marquetta Anderson at maanderson@agcenter.lsu.edu.

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