A handful of Minnesota state Senators on the Agriculture Conference Committee are pushing to not fund a critically important program called Market Bucks (formally known as the Healthy Eating Here at Home Program) that allows people to use SNAP/EBT at farmers' markets to buy affordable, healthy, local foods while supporting our local farmers.
It should be a no-brainer to fund this program. It's a win-win for farmers and eaters alike, ensuring that all people have access to healthy, locally grown food. In a year when more people are facing food insecurity due to increased unemployment, economic hardship, and food shelves that are already stretched thin, Market Bucks plays a critical role in filling key gaps while supporting small and mid-sized farmers.
We need our elected leaders to make sure this program is invested in and protected!
During the summer of 2020, Market Bucks created an additional $691,927 in economic activity in communities throughout the state — an increase in use demonstrating that the program was a staple to many during the economic downturn. More than 12,000 new customers relied on this program to purchase food from farmers' markets.
This program is also poised to secure a full match from the federal government — meaning for every dollar the state invests, local farmers will get triple.