Fresh produce can be scarce and expensive for low-income shoppers in Washington. But farmers’ markets around the city are working with federal benefit programs to making healthy diets more accessible.
Twenty-four farmers’ markets around the city now accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) electronic benefit transfer cards. As a result, more than 140,000 District residents benefiting from SNAP food stamps each month can access fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, and cheeses at their local farmers’ markets. More than 20 markets throughout the District also offer participants in the federal WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition program up to $30 in “Get Fresh” checks that can be spent on fresh fruits and vegetables.
To receive these benefits, SNAP EBT card or WIC program ID holders should go to the Market Information tent. At certain Markets and More locations, the nonprofit DC Greens runs and funds a Bonus Bucks program that offers SNAP and WIC participants up to $10 more per benefit, matching the number of dollars spent.
Another program working with federal benefits is the Produce Plus Program (PPP). To receive these benefits, find the information booth at your neighborhood farmers’ market and present your program ID, SNAP, WIC, CSFP (Commodity Supplemental Food Programs), SSI (Supplemental Security Income), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or Medicaid insurance card, along with your DC issued ID card. With this program you can receive up to $10 per household in checks you can present to vendors at the market.
For a full map of farmers’ markets accepting SNAP, WIC and other programs, visit www.dchunger.org and click Farmers’ Markets under the Projects and Initiatives tab. For more information on the programs visit MarketsAndMore.info. For questions about the programs, call the market director of Markets and More, Robin Shuster, at 202-234-0559.