Thanks to the District of Columbia, shoppers who use their nutritional benefits at DC farmers markets – including 8 FRESHFARM Markets – can eat more fresh fruits and vegetables this market season.
Produce Plus is a new nutrition benefit made possible by the DC Department of Health to increase people’s access to fruits and vegetables. Every week, eligible shoppers at 28 DC farmers markets receive Produce Plus checks worth $10. The checks can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables from any participating farmer. To be eligible, shoppers must be a DC resident and participate in any of the following programs: SNAP, WIC, SFMNP, CSFP, Medicaid, and TANF. The District of Columbia is providing $130,000 in Produce Plus checks to be distributed through September 2014.
FRESHFARM Markets has also expanded its network of farmers markets by adding two new DC markets – CityCenterDC and Mount Vernon Triangle – where SNAP (EBT/Food Stamps), WIC, and Senior Coupons are all accepted. At all 8 FRESHFARM Markets in DC, FRESHFARM gives up to $15 in Matching Dollar tokens to any SNAP, WIC, and Senior Coupon customers each market day to spend on fresh, healthy foods.
In the first month of Produce Plus benefits, FRESHFARM Markets has given out over $5,700. Our FRESHFARM Markets staff has seen some very happy shoppers buying more fruits and vegetables every week! Here is what they are saying:
“The government is only giving me $9 a day to eat on, but by coming to FRESHFARM Markets I am getting plenty of good food to eat.” ~ Adrian, Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market shopper
“Produce Plus has helped me have a healthy summer diet this year. I recently read a study that said that people who eat healthy, exercise and don’t drink or smoke live longer, so that’s what I am trying to do. Thanks to Produce Plus I’ve reduced my consumption of chips, cookies, and ice cream.” ~ Lee, shopper at CityCenterDC, Foggy Bottom, Penn Quarter, and Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Markets.
“Last summer I wasn’t able to eat local fruit because I wasn’t able to afford it. I was mostly just getting bananas from Trader Joe’s and some food from Food & Friends, but the quality isn’t the same. Now for breakfast I’m eating yogurt with fresh peaches and a little drizzle of honey – all from the farmers markets.” ~ Learlie, Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market shopper.
FRESHFARM Markets believes that everyone in our farmers market communities should have access to fresh, healthy, locally grown food. To find out more about nutrition benefits at our farmers markets and our Matching Dollars program, please go here or contact Juliet Glass at 202.362.8889 or Juliet(at)freshfarmmarket.org.
~ Bernie Prince, FRESHFARM Markets Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director