An Article About A Local Non Profit Agency Doubling The Value Of Snap ( Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
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I recently read an article about a local non-profit agency doubling the value of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits when used at the local farmers’ market. One dollar of SNAP benefits would allow a participant to receive two dollars’ worth of items from the farmers ' market. The purpose of the non-profit doubling the value was to make fresh, local, healthy choices available for a reasonable value to SNAP recipients. Week after week as I visited the farmers ' market and asked how the program was going, the market manager said they had a very low participation rate from the SNAP recipients. The benefits of SNAP are issued through an EBT (Electronic Balance Transfer) card with a specific dollar amount added to the card. The benefits can be used for food at grocery stores. Technological advances have allowed for the EBT card to be used through a wireless system at many farmers’ markets. Local farmers in many communities have embraced this program because it increases their sales. SNAP participants benefit by the availability of locally grown, healthy choices of fresh fruits and vegetables. The SNAP participants can benefit even more if their community offers incentives to shop at the market.
Researchers have begun to conduct studies on the correlation of healthy food options, local foods, federally funded food benefits and farmers’ markets. Recently, the government implemented dietary guidelines to improve nutritional quality of food;