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PNS Daily Newscast - February 23, 2018 


As the NRA doubles down on "good guys with guns," the Broward County Sheriff admits an armed deputy did not engage with the Parkland school shooter. Also on our nationwide rundown: workers across the nation will spend part of their weekend defending the American Dream; and a study says the Lone Star State is distorting Texas history lessons.

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Doubling Food Stamp Benefits at Missouri Farmers' Markets

The USDA's Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program provides grants to state and local governments and nonprofit organizations to create incentives for healthier food choices for SNAP recipients. (Columbia Farmers' Market)
The USDA's Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program provides grants to state and local governments and nonprofit organizations to create incentives for healthier food choices for SNAP recipients. (Columbia Farmers' Market)
December 27, 2017

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Farmers' markets are pulling out all of the stops as a guilt-free alternative as many people stuff themselves silly during the holidays.

Known for their fresh produce, meats and dairy, farmers' markets are now attracting lower-income families with incentives through various government food-aid programs such as SNAP and WIC.

Corrina Smith, executive director of Columbia Farmers Market, says her group’s markets started allowing use of SNAP benefits in 2010 – and those benefits are matched up to $50 with the Double SNAP Dollars program.

"And we've seen a huge increase over the years, between the SNAP and SNAP matching dollars in '16,” she says. “We had somewhere between $60,000 to $65,000 that we dispensed in benefits to those families."

In each of the last two years, the USDA's Food Insecurity Nutrition program provided more than $16 million to draw SNAP recipients into farmers' markets by increasing the value of SNAP benefits when food stamp recipients shop there.

Smith says she sees a universal benefit to farmers' markets, from getting people to eat fresh, locally sourced produce to even boosting the local economy.

"When you buy something from the grocery store, 16 cents on that dollar goes back to the farmer versus when you buy direct from them at something like a farmers' market,” she points out. “Then, the whole dollar is going back to them."

Columbia Farmers Market is open year-round, but not as many people think about going to a farmers' market during the winter.

But thanks to advances in farming technology, Smith says, a growing number of people are braving the elements to buy fresh produce.


Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - MO