Farmers' markets, companies working to get healthy food to Butler County families – Hamilton Journal News
Merchants accept Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments, such as SNAP, but also pandemic relief benefits for families whose children qualify for free or reduced meals. “A lot of people have received these cards with money on them that never have participated in an EBT program or SNAP in the past,” said the market’s manager, Ross Olson.
In a related program called Produce Perks, for every dollar someone spends on qualifying foods, they reduce another dollar worth of food for free.
Senior citizens 60 and older can participate in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program through the market with $50 booklets of $5 vouchers to use at the market. He encourages anyone that age or older to apply for it with simple applications that can be filled out at the market or on its website. Vouchers should be available in a couple weeks. “So, we pay our farmers to give food away,” Olson said.
“We also have an e-commerce platform that we started this year, really in response to concerns about market operations and COVID,” he said. “We had been looking into doing that prior to anything happening with the pandemic, and sort-of tabled that plan due to lack funding and not being fully committed to it yet. And then COVID came, and we received a grant from (Oxford Community Foundation) to fund the e-commerce.”
“In fact, we went ahead and decided to go for it, and commit to e-commerce, before even finding out about that grant,” he said.