The program will double SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits when recipients use their EBT cards at participating farmers’ markets to purchase healthful, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. For more information on how to apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps), visit http://www.dhs.ri.gov/dhs/adults/fsadult.htm. Providence residents can call 401-222-7276. Under federal law, states participating in the food stamp program are required to process food stamp applications within 30 days of the date of application, and to provide expedited food stamps to eligible households within 7 days. If your application has been delayed longer than that, call the RI ACLU at 401- 831-7171.
PROVIDENCE, RI – This summer, families on federal nutrition assistance (most commonly known as food stamps) can double their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits when they purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at Providence-, Pawtucket- and Woonsocket-based farmers’ markets managed by Farm Fresh RI. Funding for the Double Value Coupon Program is being provided by a grant from the non-profit Wholesome Wave Foundation, founded to make locally grown, healthy sustainable foods available to all communities. The Double Value Coupon Program is one of three farm-to-community programs that are part of Wholesome Wave Foundation’s “Nourishing Neighborhoods” initiative, created by chef and sustainable food advocate Michel Nischan and Wholesome Wave Chairman Gus Schumacher.
The program will double SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits when recipients use their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards at participating farmers’ markets to purchase healthful, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Doubling food assistance money helps needy families afford fresh fruits and vegetables and eat more healthfully, and the money they spend goes to support another challenged population: family farmers.
Farm Fresh RI is piloting the Double Value Coupon Program for SNAP participants at seven farmers’ markets this season, and will distribute $10,000 to families and individuals receiving SNAP benefits throughout the summer and fall. Both the RI Department of Human Services and the URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America are helping Farm Fresh RI get the word to over 105,000 SNAP clients in RI.
The program will double these hunger relief benefits when recipients use them to purchase healthful, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets in or near their neighborhoods. The Double Value Coupon Program is designed to:
– Nourish neighborhoods in rural and underserved urban communities by increasing access to affordable, healthy food in low-income areas and potentially reducing exploding health care costs while providing support for small scale farmers and producers.
– Nourish our economy by bringing new dollars to farmers and producers selling at local farmers’ markets and keeping Federal and foundation dollars in the local community.
– Benefit the environment by reducing average “food miles” traveled, and valuing local production and sustainable farming.
In addition to the Double Value Coupon Program, the other farm-to-community “Nourishing Neighborhood” programs are the Neighborhood Farm Stand Program and the Market Box Nutrition Program.
About Wholesome Wave Foundation: Michel Nischan, President/CEO of Wholesome Wave Foundation, is chef/author/policy advocate and a leader in the sustainable food movement. He founded Wholesome Wave Foundation – with seed funding from the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation – in an effort to make locally grown, sustainable foods available to all. Nischan is a 2008 James Beard Foundation Award winner for his work on the PBS series, Victory Garden and author of two best-selling cookbooks – Taste Pure and Simple; Chronicle Books 2003 (a Beard award winner in 2004) and Homegrown Pure and Simple; Chronicle Books 2005. He serves on the boards of the Amazon Conservation Team, the James Beard Foundation and Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment.
About Farm Fresh Rhode Island: Farm Fresh Rhode Island is growing a local food system that values environment, health, and quality of life of Rhode Island farmers and eaters. With this mission in mind, we seek to preserve Rhode Island farmland, build healthier communities, support and strengthen community-based businesses in Rhode Island, increase access to fresh food, and improve the impact of food production and distribution on the environment. For more information about Farm Fresh Rhode Island or any RI farmers market visit http://www.farmfreshri.org.