BRATTLEBORO—The Brattleboro Winter Farmers’ Market (WFM) recently received a $1,000 grant from the Ben & Jerry’s Vermont Community Action Team for its Accessible and Affordable Campaign.
The WFM has also received a $100 donation from the Brattleboro Food Co-op for this purpose as well.
These monies will be used to finance the WFM’s Market Match Coupon Program, which is one dimension of the market’s Accessible and Affordable Campaign.
Coupons are given to customers who are eligible for the 3SquaresVT food program. For every $5 of EBT (food stamp) tokens that customers purchase, they’re provided with an additional $2 of market coupons, extending their purchasing power by 40 percent.
Since Market Match Coupons are provided up to a maximum purchase of $40 of EBT tokens, an eligible customer could realize an additional $16 with which to purchase local, farm-fresh food from the WFM.
As a project of Post Oil Solutions, the WFM shares the parent body’s mission to make locally-produced food accessible and affordable to all people.
In its first year, the Accessible/Affordable Campaign is sustaining itself through NOFA-VT grant funds, the sale of Fair Trade Coffee and local herbal tea at the WFM’s Saturday markets, as well seeking additional grants and donations from local businesses and foundations.
Other grant programs have provided similar market match coupon programs to assist EBT shoppers in accessing local healthy food during the summer months.
“But the need to eat well does not end when the growing season ends,” says market manager Sherry Maher. “That’s why this program is so important to us. Each week, new customers discover these coupons and tell us how much it helps them to put good food on the table for their families.”
The WFM seeks to build a sustainable source of funds from a variety of sources to support this program through this year and future seasons.
The WFM is located at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden in the heart of downtown Brattleboro and is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until the end of March.
Anyone interested in contributing to this effort can contact the market at 802-869-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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