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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Food stamp users can double benefits at Downtown Farmers Market

By Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News

Published: Wed, Aug. 27 1:24 p.m. MDT

 Radishes for sale at the Downtown Farmers Market at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Food stamp users can match their benefits up to $10 at the Downtown Farmers Market. Officials say the match, made possible through a grant, encourages consumption of fresh produce and supports local farmers.

Radishes for sale at the Downtown Farmers Market at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Food stamp users can match their benefits up to $10 at the Downtown Farmers Market. Officials say the match, made possible through a grant, encourages consumption of fresh produce and supports local farmers.

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Starting Saturday, food stamp users can double their benefits up to $10 at the Downtown Farmers Market in Pioneer Park.

The Double Up Food Bucks program, which allows food stamp users to buy additional produce at the market, was made possible through a grant awarded to Utahns Against Hunger by Select 25, which is affiliated with the nonprofit health insurance company SelectHealth.

“The Double Up Food Bucks program directly incentivizes the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, which aren’t always affordable for low-income households,” said Marti Woolford, outreach coordinator and child nutrition advocate for Utahns Against Hunger.

“Utahns Against Hunger encourages all food stamp households to take advantage of this program. It not only increases fruit and vegetable consumption, but it also doubles the support we can offer local farmers.”

Food stamp beneficiaries have been able to use their Horizon card at the Downtown Farmers Market to buy eligible food items for the past seven years under a separate initiative by Utahns Against Hunger.

At the Farmers Market, electronic benefit cards loaded with food stamp benefits are swiped at wireless, point-of-sale credit card machines for specific dollar amounts. Users are given wooden tokens they can spend for eligible food items from vendors. Food stamp benefits cannot be used to buy prepared food, nonfood items or crafts.

Under Double Up Food Bucks, users will receive regular tokens, as well as specially marked tokens that will double their purchasing power up to an additional 10 tokens.

The Downtown Farmers Market is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and from 4 p.m. and dusk on Tuesdays. For more information about the program, visit the food stamp booth at the market.

Email: marjorie@deseretnews.com

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1. I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT,
Aug. 27, 2014

I've only ever known 2 families that truly needed food stamps. One was a single mother with multiple children. The other was involved a parent who lost a job and had multiple children. I've known several others apply for food stamps and get denied. These people were all upset. After seeing them get Mc'D's every day and get brand new cars and name brand clothing, I wondered why they thought a food stamp was reasonable.

I like the Farmers Market bit, but we need more education about how you can live without food stamps as well.

According to the USDA, per the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008... "Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items"

2. There You Go Again
Saint George, UT,
Aug. 28, 2014

Good.