OSWEGO, NY – Gail Goebricher, Oswego Farmers’ Market manager and Central New York representative for the Farmers’ Market Federation of New York, recently announced that the Farmers’ Market Federation has received a $125,000 grant from the Humpty Dumpty Institute to provide 25,000 food stamp recipients in upstate New York with coupons and incentives in order to double their purchases of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables at 43 farmers markets.
This pilot program breaks down traditional barriers for food stamp recipients and expands their use of EBT cards at farmers markets in upstate counties to purchase fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables.
Beginning in the 2008 market season, each food stamp client using EBT cards at farmers’ markets will receive a $5 coupon for each $5 in food stamp token sales of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Effectively, this doubles their purchasing power of healthy food.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis program has a double impact. It not only encourages food stamp recipients to purchase more fruits and vegetables, but also benefits New YorkÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s small family farmers,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Goebricher. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe are very excited about this innovative way to link the thousands of upstate food stamp clients to additional fresh, local, healthy New York State fruits and vegetables with hundreds of our hard working small produce farmers selling at farmers’ markets.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The Humpty Dumpty InstituteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s new program is also timely as it addresses an issue that is at stake in this yearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Farm Bill.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOur farmers, market managers and our federation board are delighted at this new initiative by Humpty Dumpty and we look forward to implementing these grants during the 2008 farmers’ market season,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Diane Eggert, executive director of the Farmers’
Market Federation of New York. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œCongress is debating a new farm bill and in it there are programs like ours that support the production and sale of fresh fruits and vegetables through the Specialty Crop provisions.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The Oswego and Fulton farmers’ markets will reopen for the 2008 season in May.
Any questions regarding the markets may be addressed to Goebricher at the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 343-7681.