skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, December 1, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

NC Farmers’ Markets Double Buying Power for Food-Insecure Households

play audio
Play

Tuesday, May 24, 2022   

People in North Carolina who need to stretch every dollar spent on food can get double the value of fresh produce and other goods through government and private-funded matching programs across the state.

Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) operates two matching programs at North Carolina farmers' markets to help people use their food benefits for increased buying power.

Angel Woodrum, coordinator of the Farmers' Market Nutrition Incentives Program for RAFI-USA, said the goal is to put more food into the hands of those in need, while also putting more money in local farmers' pockets.

"The Fresh Bucks program, through a USDA grant, it allows SNAP benefits to double those benefits," Woodrum outlined. "The other program we have is funded through Blue Cross/Blue Shield -- Double Bucks -- and with that program, we are able to be a lot more flexible, not just fresh fruits and vegetables."

Woodrum pointed out last year, the Double Bucks program matched more than $128,000 at 11 farmers' markets across North Carolina for buyers who used their SNAP and WIC benefits, as well as cash purchases from WIC clients and people living in Section 8 housing.

More than 7,000 of those matched dollars went to shoppers in need in Morganton.

Abby Nelson, Main Street manager of the Cultural and Creative Development Department for the City of Morganton, said RAFI-USA's programs have been enormous successes at the city's two weekly farmers' markets.

"We're strengthening our local farming community, and then also, assisting with fresh fruits and vegetables into more households," Nelson explained. "Just accepting SNAP would have done a great thing. Having this grant that essentially doubles their buying power, it just keeps growing."

And while COVID has often meant fewer shopping trips, Woodrum noted RAFI-USA found North Carolinians in need used even more of their farmers' market food matching programs during the pandemic.

"We've really seen it just take off, especially during COVID, sometimes by like three times as much as we had originally projected," Woodrum observed. "People wanting to shop more at outside locations, and as COVID's kind of calming down a bit, those people have continued going."

Participating farmers' markets allow enrollees in programs like SNAP/EBT, WIC and others to exchange their benefits at a special booth for tokens to spend on produce and other goods. Tokens never expire, but can only be used at the market issuing them.

Disclosure: Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Environmental Justice, Rural/Farming, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
According to the National Family Farm Coalition, the average U.S. farmland value is now $3,800 per
acre, the highest since the 1970s. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

North Dakota's farming landscape is seeing policy shifts dealing with corporate ownership of agricultural interests. Now, there's fresh debate at the …


Social Issues

play sound

Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…

Social Issues

play sound

The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…


An estimated 40% of recent college graduates in the U.S. are underemployed, according to Statista. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

A new report from WGU Labs, a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University based in Millcreek, Utah, is shedding light on the importance of …

Social Issues

play sound

Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused…

The Thrive Indianapolis Annual Report 2022 says Indianapolis has been recognized as a Tree City USA for 35 consecutive years. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named …

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …

play sound

Bipartisan legislation that proposes the installation of solar panels in schools across Pennsylvania awaits a vote in the state Senate. The Solar …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021