Beginning Saturday, May 10, the Lewisburg Farmers Market will be able to accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits at the farmers market. Customers just need to visit the market manager’s booth, swipe their EBT card for a certain dollar amount, and then receive special tokens that can be used to shop at the market.
In addition, the SNAP Up Local Foods program offers a dollar-for-dollar match of these SNAP dollars. This means that every dollar of SNAP benefits spent at the farmers market will be doubled in value, up to $20 per week. For instance, a customer spending $10 in SNAP will receive a bonus $10 worth of tokens to spend at the market.
The program is designed to help encourage SNAP participants to shop at farmers’ markets as well as to support Greenbrier Valley farmers by increasing the demand for their products. While about 30 of the nearly 100 West Virginia farmers’ markets can accept SNAP benefits, very few of these benefits are actually redeemed at farmers’ markets. Combining the double value program with outreach and other efforts aims to improve on this trend.
Vouchers provided through the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program will also be eligible for doubling, if they are redeemed at one of the SNAP Up Local Foods participating markets for 2014: Alderson Community Market, Lewisburg Farmers’ Market, and Pocahontas Farmers’ Market.
On May 17, the Alderson Farmers’ Market will begin its SNAP Up Local Foods doubling program, followed by the Pocahontas Farmers’ Market in Marlinton on May 24.
The Lewisburg Farmers Market is located at 210 E. Washington Street, in the parking lot between the post office and the Methodist Church. It is open 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until November.
SNAP Up is a joint project of two local organizations, the Greenbrier Valley Local Foods Initiative and Appalachian Mountain Advocates. The One Foundation provided a grant making possible the benefit doubling program. Additional community support and funding will assure the program can continue through the entire market season, as well as to resume next season and to expand to other local markets. To learn more, email