Make your dollar food stamp into $1.50

IMG_6594The entire SNAP / food stamp program is up in the air, after the House passed a farm bill that stripped away the food stamp portion of the legislation.

But in the meanwhile, if you have food stamps and shop at farmers markets in St. Lawrence County, you can stretch your money with the help of Gardenshare. The not-for-profit is sponsoring a program that gives food stamp recipients $5 for every $10 they spend at farmers markets in Canton, Potsdam, Gouverneur, and Massena, and at Martin's Farm Stand outside of Potsdam.

According to the press release:

A study released last year by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, found that prices at farmers’ markets for organic items were lower than supermarket prices, and  farmers' markets prices beat many conventionally produced supermarket prices as well.

In addition to lower prices, the produce at farmers' markets is often picked earlier that day, so it's as fresh tasting as possible. Varieties of fruits and vegetables at the market that are not sold in stores is often available, and farmers love to share information and recipes for what they've grown.

"It’s not just customers who benefit when they use their EBT cards at farmers' markets. Farmers and vendors also benefit from the increase in customers and sales, and every dollar we spend locally benefits our whole community," says Gardenshare executive director Aviva Gold.

The program's just one way Gardenshare helps you support local farmers and save money. Check these.

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