By Jamie Gibson, Hub City Farmer’s Market SNAP Champion
The Hub City Farmers Market (HCFM) in Spartanburg, SC, works to increase the supply, demand, and access to healthy, locally-grown food by providing low-income residents two ways to make the most of their SNAP benefits. One of the ways that we increase access and affordability for low-income residents of Spartanburg County is by offering two SNAP-matching nutrition incentives at our market. The incentives come in the form of a Double SNAP match of up to $40 each market day and the SC SNAP Healthy Bucks match.
- Double SNAP Program for New Customers: On customers’ first visit, they can get up to a $20 match. On the second visit, they can get up to a $30 match. On their third visit and all future visits, they get a dollar for dollar match. Returning customers receive a full match at every market visit!
- Healthy Bucks Program: Spend $5 in SNAP and get $10 in tokens for fruits and vegetables from HCFM and the SC Department of Social Services.
Local farmers benefit from these programs through an increase in customers and sales. By providing these nutrition incentives, we put more money into their pockets and into our local economy. For the 2016 season, this equated to over $42,000.
One of the great things about using SNAP at the farmer’s market is that our SNAP customers can buy more than just fruits and vegetables. HCFM has other SNAP-eligible products like bread, cereal, sauces, spices, jams and jellies, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and even seeds and plants that produce fruits and vegetables.
We encourage all markets throughout South Carolina who are interested in creating a Double-Bucks program to contact our organization or seek out informative resources that are readily available from other markets across the country. SNAP at the farmer’s market really is win-win for the market, the farmers, and the SNAP customers.
Jamie Gibson is the SNAP Champion at the Hub City Farmers Market. She works to increase SNAP participation and create innovative programming which can be used to increase SNAP participation at farmer’s markets across South Carolina. She can be reached at email@example.com or (864) 585-0905.