The Oregon Food Bank has funded a fix for what could have been a loss of access for low-income people to farmer’s markets in the state.
People on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, use a credit card to access their benefits. Recently, the federal government de-qualified one of the systems that processes SNAP funds at many farmer’s markets. That threatened to cut off thousands of low-income Oregonians from fresh, local produce.
The Oregon Food Bank just put up $10,000 to cover the costs for individual Farmer’s Markets to set up new SNAP processing contracts. Oregon Food Bank CEO Susannah Morgan says the contribution helps fulfill their mission to eliminate hunger and promotes dignity.
“It allows folks who are on a low income to use the best and freshest in their community” Morgan says. “It supports local economies. It is what we’re about here in Oregon. And from our perspectives, it’s one of the greatest ways to ensure that hunger doesn’t divide us but unite us.”
Of the 130 farmers markets in Oregon, almost 20% have been affected.