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The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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Summer Nutrition: How a State Food Program is Helping Low-Income Minnesotans

More than 80 of Minnesota's farmers markets are helping Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program dollars go further this summer. (Hunger Solutions Minnesota)
More than 80 of Minnesota's farmers markets are helping Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program dollars go further this summer. (Hunger Solutions Minnesota)
July 7, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The last of Minnesota's summer farmers markets will be opening this month, and anti-hunger advocates say the state's Market Bucks program is helping people's money go further this season.

For anyone who's using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, Minnesota's farmers markets are now matching whatever shoppers buy dollar-for-dollar up to $10.

David Kotsonas, who helps run the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market, says for some low-income families, food insecurity is a daily problem, and he believes the Market Bucks program is one small way to help.

"And not only does this program help low-income families in our community, it also increases the amount of sales that our local independent farmers are making,” he points out. “So, it's helping to support their lifestyle as well."

More than 80 farmers markets around the state are participating in the Market Bucks program this summer. You can find which ones are near you by going to the Hunger Solutions Minnesota website.

Sophia Lenarz-Coy, associate director of Hunger Solutions, says the other benefit of the program is that it's helping low-income residents afford fresh produce rather than less costly processed foods.

"Being able to double that money really gives folks access to really high-quality food, beautiful produce, hand-baked items, just really good stuff that can be difficult to afford otherwise," she states.

The state's Market Bucks program is running now through the end of October.

In part two of our summer nutrition series on Monday, we'll learn more about how summer meal programs are helping Minnesota's low-income families feed their children.


Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - MN