Food stamps are valued higher than cash at many St. Lawrence County Farmer’s Markets due to a variety of new incentives, according GardenShare’s executive director Aviva Gold.
"Basically, every food stamp dollar is worth a dollar and a half at most of the county's farmers' markets, including Canton, Potsdam, Ogdensburg, Massena, Gouverneur and at Martin's Needham Road Market,” she said. Food stamp customers at Canton, Potsdam, Ogdensburg, and Massena will get an additional $4 coupon for every $10 they spend. At those markets, $10 off your EBT card equals $19 to spend at the market.
Additionally, EBT users who make it to the farmers' Market five times this summer will get 20 extra dollars to spend at the market. Right now is the peak of the season and markets have peaches, berries, beans, greens, carrots, and whole lot more available, Gold said.
Shoppers can use their SNAP/EBT benefits to buy fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, dairy, maple, honey, baked goods, jams, processed foods, and plants that produce food at the markets. In addition to lower prices, the produce at farmers' markets is often picked earlier that day, so it's as fresh tasting as possible, Gold said.
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," Gold said.
For a complete listing of farmers' markets in St. Lawrence County with contact information, visit www.GardenShare.org.