snap-veggies-01-834x399I am not talking about sugar snap peas (however, that is a possible blog topic) or snapping my fingers…I’m talking about Heirloom Farmers Markets now being a certified SNAP retailer!

What does that mean?  Heirloom Farmers Markets is pleased to announce that we can now accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  These benefits can be redeemed at the Trail Dust Town Farmers Market on Friday, Saturday at the Oro Valley Farmers Market and Rillito Park Farmers Market on Sunday. SNAP is a USDA funded program that aims to improve the likelihood that SNAP beneficiaries will choose healthy foods and diet lifestyles despite a limited budget by providing access to fresh local fruits and vegetables. Purchasing food at our local farmers market represents a critical pivot point for change.

This is a unique time for Heirloom Farmers Markets in helping support our region’s farmers and producers. Sustainable agriculture provides an economic opportunity and good health for our local families and communities. Supporting farmers markets and expanding access to healthy, local food is a key element of USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative which coordinates the Department’s effort  through collaboration with local and regional food systems. Hundreds of dollars of revenue go directly to community farmers rather than large food manufacturers and corporations .

SNAP customers redeem their benefits by swiping their EBT cards at the market information booth in exchange for paper scripts, which can then be used to buy eligible food products from vendors.  Eligible foods include: Breads & cereals, Fruits and Vegetables, Meat, Fish, Poultry and Dairy products. And as of 2014, SNAP benefits can now be used to purchase Community-Supported Agriculture shares and food producing plants.

So, if you know of someone who could benefit by this great addition to the market, please reach out and let them know!  Help us help those who need it the most. It’s a SNAP!

See you at the markets!!