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SNAP customers to have more choices at WNC farmers markets

Improved SNAP benefits will soon be available at farmers markets across the region. File photo Improved SNAP benefits will soon be available at farmers markets across the region. File photo

Over the next three years, 40 sites across Western North Carolina are expected to be part of the WNC Double SNAP Network, which expands the ability of people receiving assistance from the federal SNAP program to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers markets. 

The Double SNAP for Fruits and Vegetables program allows SNAP customers to swipe their EBT card for any amount and receive that amount in SNAP tokens as well as up to $20 in additional Farm Fresh Bucks, which can be used to buy fruits and veggies at the market.

The first phase of the project will focus on strengthening 12 existing programs on sites operating from January through March, including the Jackson County Winter Farmers Market held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at Bridge Park. More participating sites, including farmers markets and farmstands, will be announced in the spring. Over the next three years, the network is expected to include 40 sites across WNC.

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project is partnering with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and MountainWise to expand the program. Funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program is supporting the endeavor through a grant award to ASAP. Additional support comes from Alleghany Wellness Coalition, Dogwood Health Trust, MANNA Food Bank, Walnut Cove Members Association and other private foundations and donors.

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