Thursday, July 17, 2014

Snap 2 It! Double Bucks Campaign to Help Food Stamp Shoppers

While the North City Farmers' Market prides itself on providing healthy produce at affordable prices, many of our patrons on SNAP (Food Stamps) still find the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables prohibitive. In an effort to address this, we've partnered with many other regional farmers' markets and Saint Louis University's Department of Nutrition and Dietetics to bring a unique concept called Double Bucks to the North City Farmers' Market.

Currently, our market has an EBT machine so our low-income shoppers can spend their food stamps at our vendors' booths. A patron comes to the information booth, runs their card through the machine, and is given coins to be spent at the market. The coins can be used at any market day, so if a person does not spend them all in one day, they can come back and spend them the following Saturday.

Here's how Double Bucks works: A patron using SNAP (food stamps) comes to the North City Farmers' Market and runs their card through the EBT machine. Let's say they run their card for $10. Under Double Bucks, they immediately receive an additional $10, thus doubling their purchasing power at the market!

This is not an experimental concept. Double Bucks programs exist throughout the United States: Beans and Greens and Double Up Food Bucks. By bringing this to the North City Farmers' Market, the shopper will be able to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables and the vendor will see an increase in sales. Everybody wins.

Double Bucks has grown over the past few years, helping markets and those they serve.
In order to sustain the Double Bucks program in St. Louis, we've created an Indiegogo campaign to help us fund this new endeavor. Please, if you can show your support, donate here at Snap 2 It! Help us reach our goal of $3,000 by August 15th!

Thank you and we hope to see you at our next market day, this Saturday from 10 to 1 at Crown Square!

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