People who buy food using SNAP (the program formerly known as “food stamps”) have an average of $4 a day to spend on food. Maine Harvest Bucks doubles that amount and encourages shoppers to buy fruits and vegetables. The Auburn Farmers’ Market, which operates every Tuesday, June 5 through October 2, from 4:00 to 7:00PM at the Rolly’s Diner parking lot (87 Mill Street), invites SNAP shoppers to “reap the harvest” with Maine Harvest Bucks.
Vendors from the Auburn Farmers’ Market volunteered to sign up for Harvest Bucks, noting that the program brings new customers, and is a great way to help fight food insecurity in their community.
MHB increases the purchasing power of people shopping with SNAP. For each SNAP dollar spent at the market, shoppers will receive a dollar voucher for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. Shoppers can save the vouchers for when their SNAP/EBT funds run low.
Maine has the 3rd highest percentage of residents experiencing hunger in the country; 1 in every 4 children in Maine is food insecure. The Maine Harvest Bucks program helps combat hunger in Maine communities. SNAP keeps thousands of Mainers out of poverty, however, shopping for food with only $4 a day can lead to difficult choices.
Maine Harvest Bucks is a program of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets (MFFM). MFFM has supported the program for the past 3 years under the USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant. “It’s a win-win for farmers and for families", says Jimmy DeBiasi, SNAP Program Coordinator at the MFFM. “Farmers gain new customers and Maine families that use SNAP have more dollars to spend on fruits and vegetables. That's what Maine Harvest Bucks is about.”
To learn more about the Auburn Farmers’ Market, please contact Market Coordinator Kathy Shaw at email@example.com or 320-1969 or the Auburn Recreation Department at 333-6601 ext 2101. Visit www.maineharvestbucks.org to learn about locations statewide (farmers’ markets and more) where these SNAP bonuses are available.