Madawaska, ME: The Madawaska Farmers’ Market (MFM) is excited to be operating two nutrition programs that bring healthy, local produce to more community members this year. With the Maine Harvest Bucks program, MFM shoppers using federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive bonus vouchers for fruits and vegetables for every SNAP dollar spent at market. Similarly, families receiving WIC (Women, Infant and Children) vouchers at the market will receive double the value of the vouchers. These 2 programs, combined, allow food insecure Mainers (primarily children and seniors) to have easier access to more nutritious fruits and vegetables. Considering that Maine ranks 1st in New England for food insecurity, this program seeks to make it easier for our neighbors to get the nutrition they need from local farmers.
“With SNAP shoppers only having an average of $4 per day to shop for food, this programming can help ease the burden during financially difficult times for families, seniors, and other Mainers experiencing hardships” explains Jimmy DeBiasi, SNAP Program Coordinator for the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets (the organization that oversees the program at farmers’ markets). “Farmers’ markets in our state are now playing a critical role in promoting healthy diets and, therefore, healthy lives for a growing number of people in our community.”
SNAP (the government assistance program formerly known as Food Stamps) remains an incredibly effective program for lifting Americans out of poverty. Research demonstrates that SNAP dollars have a positive correlation with childhood development and long-term health, as well as the stabilization of local economies. “We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to offer this program to community members in the Madawaska area” says Dana Gendreau, the Finance Director at the Town of Madawaska. “It’s a win-win for community members on a limited food budget and the vendors at our market. We’re hoping to see more people benefit from this program now that we’re in our second year offering it”.
The Madawaska Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm at 188 Main Street. Visit maineharvestbucks.org to learn about all the locations (farmers’ markets and more!) statewide where these SNAP bonuses are available.
For more information, contact:
SNAP Program Coordinator
Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets