Tuesday, August 23, 2016, Springfield, MO- The Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO) is making it easy for low-income families across the Ozarks to eat healthy with a new Double Up Food Bucks Program which is a healthy food incentive program that helps low-income families eat more fruits and vegetables and supports local farmers. The market will host a SNAP Day at FMO this weekend on August 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for families to learn more about the Double Up Food Bucks Program and how their SNAP dollars can be used at market for healthy foods for their entire family.
“The staff and vendors at FMO are overjoyed with the new Double Up Bucks program,” said FMO Market Manager Sarah Byrd. “We are grateful for any opportunity that puts more fresh fruit and veggies from our market onto the tables of local families. I am so excited for SNAP Day at Market! Most of all, I am excited to get more people taking advantage of the Double Up Bucks program, showing them the variety of foods available at market and the creative ways you can prepare them at home.”
As part of SNAP Day at FMO, participants will learn if they are eligible for SNAP assistance, how the Double Up Food Stamp Program works at FMO, be provided a guided tour of the marketplace, explained what tokens will buy and what foods are eligible and the day will end with a cooking class. The class will be instructed by market staff and will show how to take SNAP-approved products from market to create baby food and other toddler snack ideas. The SNAP Market Tour will take place at 10:00 a.m. and participants should meet at the fountains behind the market pavilion. The cooking class will take place at 11:00 a.m. in the plaza by the fountains.
“Market staff has worked to develop this program for a year now and thanks to assistance from Wholesome Wave, the market was granted $20,000 to use as the funding source for the Double Up Program,” explained FMO Executive Director Lane McConnell. “These funds will be used to double the food dollars that SNAP participants receive at both our Springfield and Branson markets, creating a win-win for EBT users and local farmers.”
Under Double Up, people who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps) can swipe their EBT cards at the market information tent to buy SNAP tokens, and receive a matching number of Double Up Food Bucks tokens (up to $25 per day). They may use the SNAP tokens to buy any SNAP eligible items at the market, and use the Double Up Food Bucks tokens for any fresh fruits and vegetables.
FMO operates market locations in Springfield on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and in Branson at the Branson Landing on Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Farmers Market of the Ozarks is a 501c3 non-profit organization that offers consumers a full-range of locally grown farm products from a 150-mile radius of Springfield. Items include: vegetables, fruits, pasta, meat, jams, jellies, salsa, eggs, cheeses, bottled milk, baked goods, honey, artisan crafts and an assortment of concessions. Farmers Market of the Ozarks operates a vibrant farmers market that contributes to the success of local food growers and producers, strengthens the local food economy and serves as a community gathering place for the Ozarks region. For more go online to LoveYourFarmer.com, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FMOzarks.