“We should have some great results at the end of this season,” Ziehm said.
Fresh Connect Checks
Another aspect of the Fresh Connect program is the use of Fresh Connect Checks. The state is offering a $2 coupon to customers at participating farmers markets for every $5 worth of produce purchased with food stamps.
The department hopes this will encourage more low-income households to shop for New York produce.
Ziehn says this program only saw limited success last year because it wasn’t introduced until the end of the season. This year the checks will be issued at the beginning of July.
“We’ll have about 10,000 checks to distribute to those 34 projects that we funded through the program,” she said. “We’ll be right at the height of the farmers market season when they have the highest selection, so we’re hoping we can run out of checks and know that they are really being used.”