Broome County Regional Farmers Market Receives Grant to Expand Access for SNAP Customers

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From the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County:

A grant from Field & Fork Network will enable the Broome County Regional Farmers Market to provide additional benefits to SNAP/EBT customers. This program, called Double-Up Bucks, will facilitate SNAP shoppers in accessing up to $20 in additional incentives. These incentives can be used to buy NYS-grown fruit and vegetables. The Double-Up Bucks program will also directly benefit 8 NYS farmers.

This program will kick off at the Broome County Regional Farmers Market on July 3rd, 2021 and run through October 30th, 2021, or until funds are depleted.

When asked about the program, Market Manager Josh Miner stated “What an awesome program! Access to fresh fruits and vegetables is essential to the health and well-being of people and communities. This program will incentivize more people to buy more locally grown produce and bring increased traffic to local farmers markets. It’s a great opportunity for SNAP users to double the amount of fresh produce they can take home and also give a boost in exposure and sales to NY state farmers. “

“During a time where food insecurity has been at one of its highest levels, we are so excited to be able to offer low-income families a chance to increase their purchasing power”, said Nutrition Program Manager Tara Kenyon.  “Spending SNAP dollars at our Farmers Market supports our local farmers and economy directly while at the same time providing fresh and nutritious produce for families to consume at home.”

Local farmers are also optimistic about this program. “Programs like this not only help feed local families who are in need, but also help to grow our economy in New York State. The Double-Up Food Bucks program directly supports local farmers and their employees by allowing them to increase the volume of product sold to consumers”, says Lonny Schaefer, owner of Catskill Cattle Co. in Deposit, NY. “This is the kind of program we should be supporting at the benefit of our local economy and community”.

The program is administered by Field & Fork Network and funded by the USDA and the National Institute of Food & Agriculture’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program grant and generous donations from several local and state-level philanthropic foundations and agencies.

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