Farmers markets expand SNAP acceptance

06/21/2010 05:28:19 PM
Ashley Bentley

Through a little bit of extra funding, 71% more farmers markets in Massachusetts will be accessible to SNAP benefit users this year.

The Boston Public Market Association will receive a $2,500 grant for equipment to process payments from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit users June 22 during the grand opening celebration of the Dewey Square Farmers’ Market in Boston.

The Dewey Square Farmers’ Market opened May 28.

Representatives from the Department of Agricultural Resources and the Department of Transitional Assistance, as well as Boston Mayor Tom Menino, are scheduled to present the check, according to a news release.

The Department of Transitional Assistance provided $50,000 initially to help farmers markets across the state increase access to SNAP participants, according to the release.

Last year, 31 markets were able to process SNAP vouchers. This year that number is up to 53.

The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and the Connecticut-based Wholesome Wave Foundation provided additional funding, according to the release.

The grand opening and grand presentation event is also scheduled to include a healthy cooking demonstration through the UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources provides a link to the state’s farmers markets, including the ones that specifically accept SNAP vouchers.



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