Food Stamps and Farmers’ Markets

Inside our local Whole Foods

Good Morning, God!

Yesterday, after a trip to the Farmers’ Market I stopped at Whole Foods. They had lots of local produce — which was great. But, the prices were significantly higher.

I can’t imagine anyone who uses food stamps — or SNAP debit cards, the new version — shopping at Whole Foods. But, can they shop at the local Farmers’ Markets?

I had never given this a thought until I read the article, A Double Win for Fresh Food, in the current issue of YES magazine. It seems the state of Michigan has a program called Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) It’s funded by the non-profit Fair Food Network, and it allows SNAP card users, shopping at a Farmers’ Market, to get up to $20 back in tokens. One token for each dollar spent. The tokens can be used only at a Farmers’ Market and only to buy local Michigan produce.

It’s a double win, God! The families get more nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables and the farmers get more customers. It’s the UP side of my DOWN side question, “Why is it that people are allowed to buy soft drinks with food stamps?”

While reading the rules, God, I learned of a strange one: SNAP cards can’t be used for alcohol or tobacco (good), but neither can they be used for vitamins or soap. HUH? They can’t buy soap?

I’m feeling small, God. I was judging what I considered to be poor choices made by folks on food stamps. But, judging isn’t helping. How much better to create a program that makes good nutrition a good economic choice. I wonder, God, could  OUR STATE do what Michigan is doing?

Story teller,

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Posted in choices, Farmers' Markets, food questions, Understanding
One comment on “Food Stamps and Farmers’ Markets
  1. adriana says:

    I know they do this in NY as well at the farmer’s markets. Food stamp recipients obtain reward spending “bucks” for each dollar spent at a farmer’s market. Funny, Margie, I had assumed since food stamps were available in each state that this was a national program, did not know it varied state to state. Now I know better. Hugs to you.

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