Carrboro Farmers’ Market will take credit, debit and food-stamp cards

April 25, 2010 at 5:15 pm Leave a comment

Truck Buck token

Holy plastic.  Buying fresh, local, healthy food at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market will soon be much more convenient. Starting May 1, the market will accept credit, debit and EBT/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards.

As part of the new Common Currency Program, customers using plastic will receive “Truck Bucks,” wooden tokens that can be used like cash to shop throughout the market.

As an added incentive to shoppers using SNAP cards (formerly known as food stamps), the market will match up to $20 in expenditures with $20 in additional “Market Match” coupons, until supplies run out.

The idea is to boost the local economy by making it easier for more people to buy fresh local food — helping local farmers and keeping the money in the community.

With the new program, “we will be able to offer the best in local foods to even more members of our community,” said market manager Sarah Blacklin.

Founded in 1978, the Carrboro Farmers’ Market is one of the oldest and best farmer-owned-and-operated markets in the country, and the first in the greater Triangle Area.   It’s also been a leader in trying to increase access to sustainable food for low- and fixed- income shoppers. For example, the market already accepts coupons benefiting senior citizens and consumers in the federal WIC program providing supplemental food for low-income families. And last year it launched the Farmer Food Share Program which provides 500-1,000 pounds of  fresh market food to local hunger relief organizations.

The Common Currency Program is made possible by a grant from the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) in partnership with Leaflight’s 21st Century Farmers’ Market Program, The Splinter Group and the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

— Dee Reid

Entry filed under: food access, Politics/ Policy, Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Food. Tags: , , , , .

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