According to the Oregon Food Bank, nearly 600,000 Oregonians are food insecure. This means they lack access to enough affordable and nutritious food. A program at the Lane County Farmers Market is trying to help.
With the Double Up Food Bucks program SNAP and EBT users can receive up to ten dollars in matching funds. So, if they decide to spend $20, they will get an extra 10 and have $30 to use at the market.
This happens at both Lane County Farmers Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays so participants can receive $20 per week of extra assistance.
Each year, the market secures outside funding for this program so the frequency and length of benefits vary year to year. This also means the service is only available until funds run out.
According to Meghan Verberkmoes, membership and marketing oordinator, the program is a win-win.
“Obviously, it’s helping SNAP shoppers be able to buy more food at the market and it’s helping farmers sell more of their produce, said Verberkmoes. “And then it’s also, you know, keeping money within our local community and our local economy.”
There are restrictions to what can be purchased, but combining both SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks, participants are able to purchase most essential food products.
Double Up Food Bucks can be used for produce, veggie starts, nuts, mushrooms and dried beans whereas Normal SNAP/EBT benefits can be used for things like meat, eggs and bread.
If people are concerned about pandemic safety, LCFM has taken special measures which include a new layout using the top level of the Butterfly parking lot to ensure plenty of space for people to social distance.
SNAP or EBT users can find out more about the program at the Lane County Farmers Market information booth.