Alexandria Farmers Market SNAP Match program doubles shopping experience
The following was released to us by the Alexandria Farmers Market:
ALEXANDRIA, La. - How does the Alexandria Farmers Market SNAP Match program work? A new one-minute video walks residents through the simple steps for making the most out of their visits.
The market, in collaboration with community sponsors, matches Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits dollar for dollar, allowing SNAP recipients to double their spending. It is one of the many ways the Alexandria Farmers Market makes fresh fruits and vegetables accessible and affordable for its shoppers.
Located at 2727 Jackson Street, the Alexandria Farmers Market is open every Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. and is operated by Louisiana Central, formerly known as the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.
Customers first stop at the Welcome Booth to swipe their SNAP EBT card. They receive red SNAP tokens for the amount they swiped, and then get yellow market tokens for the same amount, up to $20. Customers can use red tokens to purchase SNAP-eligible products and yellow tokens for any item sold at the market.
“The market match is a great way for residents to stretch their dollars each week, and to get all of their shopping done in one location,” said Audrey Kolde, Alexandria Farmers Market Manager. “Families can stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, breads and baked goods, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, nuts, jellies and other food items, and then they can use their match portion on any items not covered by SNAP.”
Tokens do not have to be used on any particular day.
“If you don’t use all of your tokens in one visit, you can bring them back next time you shop,” Kolde said.
It was funded by a grant from the Louisiana Healthy Communities Coalition and Well-Ahead Louisiana, the chronic disease prevention and healthcare access arm of the Louisiana Department of Health.
“We all know that making healthy choices like eating well influences health, but it’s not enough to just know how to be healthy. Residents need to be surrounded with practical, readily available options to make healthy choices, and the Alexandria Farmers Market does this by making it easier for families to access fresh, healthy food,” Well-Ahead Louisiana Director Melissa Martin said.
SNAP is a federal program that offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families across the nation. In Rapides Parish alone, almost 20% of the population is enrolled in the program.
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