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Farmers Markets in All 50 States Accept Your EBT SNAP Cards, Some Double Your Money!

snap at farmers market

It’s no secret: it can often take a lot of money to eat healthy. Anyone who has tried to shop at premium grocers or attempted to buy mostly organic produce can understand this. It can leave you questioning how low-income families can do it! You may not believe it, but the best place to go just may be your local farmers market.

Recently, Dr. Richard Besser hosted a conversation on G+ as a part of the TED-MED series on childhood obesity. Featured in this panel was Don Schwarz, Health Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity in the City of Philadelphia. When asked how to combat the issue of African American and Latino children being exposed to the highest level of unhealthy foods and beverages, he suggested policy change to allow public benefits (like food stamps) to be accepted at farmers markets.

Well, Mr. Health Commissioner, have we got good news for you: They already do!

We have noticed a growing trend in our local farmers markets throughout the country accepting SNAP (or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps) just like regular cash. Gone are the days where affordability and accessibility of fresh produce isn’t possible on food stamps. Shopping at your local farmers market is not only better for the environment, but the nutritional quality is higher, and your money can literally go further.

okra forsythe market koskie

Wholesome Wave Georgia features more than 20 farmers markets that accept SNAP throughout the state, but Forsyth Farmers Market in Savannah, has taken it to another level. They literally give you twice the bang for your buck. This market will match your SNAP dollars thanks to a grant from Wholesome Wave Georgia. Accepting SNAP since 2009, they developed this partnership to ensure that the highest quality produce was perfectly attainable no matter your resources. And is it working?

“Last year, we had the top redemption rates for a single market in the state of Georgia,” says Forsyth Farmers Market co-founder and coordinator Teri Schell.

But if you’re not in the Savannah area, fear not. There are farmers markets that accept SNAP in all 50 States. We found 50 with the best deals!

Alabama: On Double Days, Homegrown Alabama will match dollar-for-dollar up to $25.

Alaska: Alaska Farmers Market Association says to check that the booth you shop at accepts them, too!

Arizona: Hosts a whole list of SNAP-specific gardens.

Arkansas: Featured this week in the Top 10 Fastest Growing Farmers Market states.
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The Government Shutdown Will Affect Your Health Care. Here’s How.

My fellow Americans, I don’t want to alarm you, but the government is in official shutdown mode! On Monday, lawmakers were unable to agree to a budget and neither the House nor the Senate wanted to back down. The shutdown appears to stem from one source, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as, Obamacare. The Republican-controlled House is refusing to sign the budget unless they can add a stipulation that essentially pushes the ACA law back one full year.

Congress Shut down

Since the Affordable Care Act law was passed in 2010, some lawmakers have continued to criticize it publicly to any reporter or television camera that will listen. A common theme among ACA opponents is their love of the Constitution, though most Americans remain confused about what one has to do with the other. Last night on the satirical political talk show The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart summed it up nicely when he referred to the GOP/Obamacare fight as, “The End of America as We Know It for Reasons No One is Able to Clearly Explain.”

While the government shutdown is clearly about health care, how will it actually affect health care? In addition to the furlough of nearly one million civilian federal employees, the closing of national parks and passport offices, and the temporary stoppage of other government functions, this is what you need to know for the impact this will have on your family’s well-being.


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HealthBuzz November 2: Halloween Candy Buy Back, GMO Facts, and Halloween Candy Recipes

We are hours away from the weekend, which means it is time for your weekly dose of healthy news! This week we have rounded up stories from Entertainment Weekly, Best Life Diet, and Yahoo! Shine. And while Halloween may be over, we’ve got treats that can be made with your leftover candy.

Eating Healthy on $12 Per Day Food Stamp Budget is Impossible and How the Next President May Make it Worse

With the elections coming up, government programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, could be changed drastically. DIR’s staff writer Lacy J. Hansen tried to feed her family healthy meals on a food stamp budget and barely made it. Read about Lacy’s food stamp project and tell us what you think!

Vanessa Lembo Lost 120 Pounds After Deciding She Was Worth The Change

This week’s true weight loss story features Vanessa from Upstate New York. After Vanessa’s mother’s passed, she knew she had to start living a healthy life. She ditched the bags of Dove chocolate for cardio and weight training. Tell us what you think about Vanessa’s weight loss journey!

Kids Sell Halloween Candy for Cash at Dental Buy Back Programs Across the Country

There is a new trend sweeping the nation – kids selling their Halloween candy back to dentist offices. Tooth decay and cavities are a result of children eating loads of Halloween candy. We found one kid who received $22 for selling his Halloween candy to a local dentist office! This is a neat way to get rid of the sugar high will still giving them a reason to celebrate.
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Eating Healthy on $12 Per Day Food Stamp Budget is Impossible and How the Next President May Make it Worse

Next week presents so many possible changes for our nation as we mark our ballots. Election day could end with a new president lined up to lead the country. A new president impacts huge issues like the soldiers overseas, foreign affairs, and of course the budget. As you vote next week, you will also be determining smaller issues that affect all of us. Who we vote in as our Commander-in-Chief may change what’s served on a large percentage of Americans’ dinner tables.

Frequently called food stamps, our government has a food assistance program called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The program is income based and designed to help those who are financially struggling. According to Politofact.com, one in seven US families are using the SNAP program. Findings from the Food Research and Action Center state that many families struggle to purchase enough nutritious food before the month’s allotment runs out. Many users cannot afford proper foods for healthy meals and actually have to turn to food pantries to supplement their food needs.

If one out of seven families are currently needing the SNAP program and the current benefits are found to be too little to support a family, what can one expect from our primary candidates on this issue?

Valerie Jarrett is the Senior Advisor to the President Obama. She explained in The White House Blog where he stands on the issue of food assistance.

“…When President Obama took office, he enhanced and expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The investments we made kept 3.9 million Americans, including 1.7 million children, above the poverty line in 2010. They prevented child hunger from rising, even as poverty and unemployment levels increased in the wake of the economic crisis.”

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported on what former Governor Romney may intend to do about the SNAP budget is he were elected. Richard Kogan and Paul N. Van de Water wrote that Romney would cut entitlement and discretionary program budgets. These cuts would mean a reduction in the funds allotted for SNAP.
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NYC Says No To Sodas Purchased With Food Stamps

UPDATE [8/24/2011]: The USDA has rejected the proposal to ban soda purchases made with food stamps.

With obesity numbers skyrocketing and the associated medical costs out of control, New York City has decided to make a major change to their food stamp program. The program, now called SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), serves more than 1.7 million New York City residents. City Health Commissioner Tom Farley and New York State Health Commissioner Richard Daines have asked the USDA for a food stamp waiver for two years during which recipients would not be allowed to use their food stamps to buy sodas.


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