Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - July 18, 2018 


Trump now says he misspoke as he stood side-by-side with Putin. Also on the Wednesday rundown: A Senate committee looks at the latest attempt to weaken the Endangered Species Act; and public input is being sought on Great Lakes restoration.

Daily Newscasts

Casper Market Doubles Food Bucks for SNAP Recipients

Casper's Tuesday summer market includes a two-bites club for children. If they take two bites of that week's fruit or vegetable, they earn money to spend with local vendors. (Pixabay)
Casper's Tuesday summer market includes a two-bites club for children. If they take two bites of that week's fruit or vegetable, they earn money to spend with local vendors. (Pixabay)
July 9, 2018

CASPER, Wyo. – The Food For Thought Summer Market at David Street Station in downtown Casper is starting to swell as the season's peak harvest draws near, and a new program is putting locally grown produce onto even more Wyoming dinner tables.

Cassandra Baker, associate director of the Wyoming Food For Thought Project, runs the state's chapter of the national Double Up Food Bucks program.

"It's just an incentive program to offer SNAP recipients double the buying power of locally grown produce within our region at our farmers' market," she states.

The program gives an extra $20 to families eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program each time they visit the market.

Critics of SNAP maintain the program encourages unemployment, and the U.S. House recently passed a farm bill that would expand work requirements in order to receive benefits.

The Senate rejected that requirement in its version of the bill.

Baker says encouraging struggling families to come out and meet their local farmers and other neighbors is a great way to break down negative stereotypes.

She says the double-up program also is putting more money into the state's economy.

"And to keep that government money in our local economy,” she points out. “We think that access to food is a human right, and so regardless of the situation at home, we want to be able to provide people with what they want and what they need."

The Tuesday market includes live music, food trucks, and a two-bites club for children. If they take two bites of that week's fruit or vegetable, they earn money to spend with venders.

Baker says she hopes to expand the double-up program to other markets across the state.

"We're creating a win-win for not only my growers, but the consumers as well,” she stresses. “It's not only increasing the customer base for my market vendors, the SNAP recipients are getting to know the vendors on a more local level and it's encouraging them to eat healthier."

The market provides free table space for backyard growers who want to make a few bucks unloading over-abundant harvests.

Baker's group also recently added a "food is free garden," where people can pick their own produce, no questions asked.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY