Walmart Foundation Grant Supports Farmers' Market Purchases
University of Arkansas students shop at the Fayetteville Farmers Market. A new grant will allow customers enrolled in two nutrition programs to double their purchasing power at regional farmers' markets.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Farmers' market customers enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (S-FMNP) in Northwest Arkansas will be able to double the amount of money they can spend on locally grown and raised foods at area farmers' markets this year in the Farmers Market Double Your Dollar program.
The Northwest Arkansas Farmers' Market Alliance in partnership with the Horticulture Department at the University of Arkansas and the Jones Center for Families received a grant from the Walmart Foundation for $99,812. Heather Friedrich, a facilitator for the Alliance, said the grant would increase the capacity of lower income individuals and families to buy fresh, local, nutritious and healthy food at farmers' markets through a "Double Your Dollars" incentive program. Eight farmers' markets in Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Siloam Springs, Gravette and Rogers are participating in the program.
Participants of SNAP and S-FMNP must visit the farmers' market manager booth to receive market-specific tokens that are then used to purchase fresh produce, eggs, meat, dairy or food producing plants. "The tokens are used like real money but can only be used at the market where they are received," Friedrich said. "This project doubles the impact on the northwest Arkansas community because it supports low-income residents purchases of local food and also because it contributes to a vibrant and thriving local farming community."
The program will run until all funds are distributed. More information about the program is available at marketsnap.uark.edu.
Heather Friedrich, program manager
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