The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the modern “food stamps” program. SNAP provides financial support to in-need people with their food budget. Typically, many of the people on SNAP are supporting families, and many of them are working. When the old food stamp vouchers went away in 2002 in favor of a debit card, farmers markets across the country suddenly were out of the food stamp business. Consequently, the best avenue for healthy produce for in-need families closed. Even today, only a little more than 60% of farmers markets across the country accept SNAP.
In Spartanburg County, there are about 43,000 SNAP users, accounting for $61,000,000 a year in SNAP money. The average benefit breaks down to $1.31/person/meal. In 2013, direct farm and farmers’ markets sales accounted for only $11,000 of the SNAP spent in Spartanburg. We recognize an economic and a public health need to connect farmers and SNAP users, and have worked relentlessly to expand the use of SNAP at our markets. To help increase SNAP use at our markets, we work with the United Way of the Piedmont for a “Double SNAP” program, and with the Department of Social Services for a “Healthy Bucks” program. Both of these programs greatly increase a SNAP family’s food-buying power.
The video below shows the process for our SNAP-matching programs, but please note the new guidelines below.
How to Use “Double SNAP” at the Market
PLEASE NOTE: NEW GUIDELINES FOR 2015
THE SNAP CARDHOLDER MUST BE PRESENT TO USE THEIR CARD
- Find the Hub City Farmers’ Market Management Booth and let us know that you would like to use your SNAP card.
- HCFM employees will ask you if you want to participate in the Double SNAP program and how much money you would like to spend at the Market. If you choose to participate in the program, you will be asked to take a few minutes and fill out a simple form.
- An HCFM employee will then swipe your card and give you tokens to spend at the Market. You will receive a matching bonus depending upon the number of times you have used your card and the amount you take off of it.
- For your first visit, we will match $.50 on every dollar you spend, up to $40. For $40 off your SNAP card, you will receive $60 in tokens ($40 from you + $20 from us).
- For your second visit, we will match $.75 on every dollar you spend, up to $40. For $40 off your SNAP card, you receive $70 in tokens ($40 from you + $30 from us).
- For your third and all subsequent visits, we will match $1.00 for every dollar you spend, up to $40. For $40 off your SNAP card, you receive $80 in tokens ($40 from you + $40 from us).
- Use your tokens to buy fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, seeds and plants that produce food.
Effective May 24, 2014, HCFM will offer another SNAP-matching incentive, in addition to the one from the UWP. The State of South Carolina, through the Department of Social Services, is offering a $10 match per week for fruits and vegetables purchased at HCFM Markets and Mobile Market stops. If you take $5 off your SNAP card, you will get a $10 in tokens for fruits and vegetables. This match CAN be combined with our “Double Bucks” program!