Press release from Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project:
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) has expanded its popular Double SNAP initiative to include eight farmers markets through the end of 2020. This program allows markets to make a 100-percent match on dollars spent at farmers markets through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
ASAP launched Double SNAP at Asheville City Market in 2019 and has continued it at the ASAP Farmers Market at A-B Tech during COVID-19. The program now adds East Asheville Tailgate Market, Enka-Candler Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market in Buncombe County. Hendersonville Farmers Market, Mills River Farm Market, and Transylvania Farmers’ Market are expanding existing SNAP incentive programs.
“More families are finding it difficult to afford fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Molly Nicholie, ASAP’s Local Food Campaign Program Director. “We have seen a huge increase in SNAP sales at ASAP’s markets since this program was launched. ASAP is grateful to the donors, funders, partners, and markets that have come together to bring Double SNAP to more communities.”
ASAP is scaling up Double SNAP through donor and funder support, including the Pisgah Health Foundation, as well as partnerships with Mountainwise and Henderson County Partnership for Health.
With Double SNAP, shoppers purchase market tokens using their EBT cards and receive a one-to-one match. For example, swiping an EBT card for $5 will yield $10 to spend on SNAP-eligible items at individual farmer stands. Tokens are issued $1 increments. SNAP-eligible items include produce, bread, meat, dairy products, and plants or seeds that produce edible food.
Farmers market SNAP programs accomplish two goals: increasing healthy eating options for SNAP users and supporting local farms. Since 2009, ASAP has worked to build these programs and provide resources for farmers markets. Many markets in the region now accept SNAP, with a subset offering double or other SNAP incentives. Find out more at asapconnections.org/snap.
In addition to Double SNAP, ASAP is extending access to local food through Appalachian Farms Feeding Families. This new program connects food relief sites directly with farms and subsidizes the cost of fresh, local food. Find out more at asapconnections.org/farmsfeedingfamilies.