MN Market Bucks Win-Win for Shoppers, Farmers
Thursday, June 21, 2018
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The state's farmers markets are open for the summer, and Hunger Solutions Minnesota reminds families receiving food assistance they can buy twice as much fresh food by using Market Bucks.
Minnesota's SNAP beneficiaries who use their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards can spend $10 at a market and have that matched dollar for dollar to purchase $20 in fresh produce.
Patti Whitney-Wise, program manager for Hunger Solutions, says the program helps support better health and allows families to stretch their dollars to buy produce they might not normally buy.
"The farmers love it, too,” she adds. “Oftentimes if they see them using their Market Bucks, they'll add extra produce in for free because they know how much it means to those families."
The program is operating this summer at 96 farmers markets across Minnesota, where food insecurity is estimated to affect one in 11 adults and one in eight children.
Minnesota was the first state in the nation to fund a farmers market incentive program.
Aimee Foster with the Lincoln Park and Hillside farmers markets in Duluth says in addition to promoting items sold by local growers, the program helps build community engagement.
"They're often surprised when we tell them they can buy any EBT-eligible item, ranging from bread to eggs to especially meat,” she states. “Everybody loves that. It's a win-win for everyone."
In 2017, the program allowed more than 3,000 first-time customers to purchase food from farmers markets. Whitney-Wise says Hunger Solutions has tracked the program's economic benefit to the state's economy.
"For instance, last year SNAP families spent $377,000 in SNAP EBT, and that is estimated to leverage $676,000 in additional economic activity," she states.
Nearly 44 percent of Minnesota's children benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and more than 50,000 seniors are enrolled.
Market Bucks is funded by the Minnesota Legislature and administered by the Minnesota Humanities Center in partnership with Hunger Solutions Minnesota.
get more stories like this via email
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansans ages 16 to 26 who are or have been in the foster-care system now are eligible for one-time payments of at least $750…
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Molina of Perrysburg says she was inspired as a child by the spirit of activism, as she watched her parents participate in …
HARRISBURG, Pa. - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants to bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public-works program from the 1930s that created …
Health and Wellness
CHICAGO - Overdose deaths in Illinois rose by more than a quarter from 2019 to 2020, and medical experts are warning that pills not prescribed by a …
Health and Wellness
MINNEAPOLIS - As COVID cases trend upward again, public-health experts are setting the record straight on certain storylines about new infections…
APPLETON, Wis. - The pandemic paused many facets of life, and a new report says wellness checkups for children were among them. With school resuming …
ALBANY, N.Y. - A ballot measure could give New York residents the constitutional right to a healthy environment, and on Tuesday a group of state …
SALEM, Ore. - Young people of color are locked up at disproportionately high rates compared with their white peers, despite recent signs the gap is …