East Lansing, MI – Farmers markets across Michigan are gearing up for the outdoor season as temperatures start to rise. As the outdoor market season begins, the opportunity expands for many Michigan families to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits via the Michigan Bridge Card to purchase fresh food from their local farmers market.
During the 2017 farmers market season, 164 Michigan farmers markets will accept SNAP benefits. To find a farmers market that accepts SNAP benefits, visit the ‘Find a Farmers Market’ feature of the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) at www.mifma.org/findafarmersmarket. The website feature allows you to search for a farmers market by city, by county, or by day of the week. You can also narrow the search based on the food assistance benefit(s) you will be utilizing while shopping. Use the search options to find farmers markets where you can use your SNAP Bridge Card, Double Up Food Bucks tokens or card, WIC Project FRESH vouchers, Senior Project FRESH/Market FRESH vouchers, and/or Hoophouses for Health vouchers or gift cards.
“Every year, more farmers markets in Michigan are able to accept SNAP Bridge Cards, creating a win-win-win opportunity for the market, the vendors selling at the market, and the members of the market’s community,” explains Sydney Debien, MIFMA’s Food Access Coordinator. “In Michigan, 1 in 7 people receive SNAP benefits. Farmers markets that accept SNAP benefits provide families with options to make the most of their food dollar while purchasing fresh, local food.”
Due to MIFMA’s work to support farmers markets accepting SNAP, Michigan has been a national leader since 2006. The number of farmers markets accepting SNAP benefits has grown from only 3 in 2006 to 164 in 2017. According to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), in 2015 more than 1.2 million dollars in SNAP benefits was spent at Michigan farmers markets and/or with Michigan farmers.
To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Michigan farmers markets, visit www.mifma.org/snap.