Veggie SNAPS is a collaboration of nine farmers’ markets in Central Ohio that offer EBT and provide matching tokens for EBT users. Participating Markets include: Bexley Farmers’ Market, Clintonville Farmers’ Market, Columbus Public Health Farmers’ Market, Franklin Park Conservatory Farmers’ Market, Franklinton Gardens Produce Market, New Harvest Urban Farmers’ Market, Pearl Market, Raven’s Market, and the Worthington Farmers’ Market.
In 2014, managers from six central Ohio farmers’ markets (Bexley, Clintonville, Columbus Public Health, Franklin Park, Franklinton, and Pearl Market), introduced a program to increase access to the healthy foods sold at their markets among the vulnerable populations in central Ohio. In its first year, Veggie SNAPS provided over $5,000 in incentives in 637 transactions to 303 unique customers. The program provides a financial match of EBT dollars spent (up to $10) per visit to SNAP customers who shop at participating seasonal farmers’ markets organized in the Central Ohio community.
In 2015, Veggie SNAPS expanded to the nine markets. Many of these markets are located in food deserts. The markets that are not located within food deserts are accessible by transit (under 30 minutes) to people living in food deserts.
“We’ve seen a great response to the Veggie SNAPS program at Pearl Market,” said Pearl Market Manager Adam Schroeder, “Not only are our EBT transactions up, but we’re getting fresh, healthy, local food in to the homes that might not otherwise have access to it.”
Veggie SNAPS is funded by Franklin County and the City of Columbus. The program was also recently named a sub-grantee of Wholesome Wave’s FINI project that will increase incentive dollars available to participating Market and encourage continued growth of the program over the next three years.
More information on the Veggie SNAPS program can be found at https://veggiesnaps.wordpress.com/