Local farmers markets participate in federal nutritional aid program

Produce at the 2016 Provo Farmers Market. (Provo Farmers Market)

Editor’s note: This story pairs with another titled “Provo Farmers Market helps kick start small businesses.”

The flowers are beginning to bloom and farmers markets across Utah County are opening. Farmers markets have been a part of Utah County culture for a least two decades and are designed to help support local farmers and other vendors in the community.

But many markets throughout the state, including the Provo Farmers Market, also offer benefits to low-income families through federal and state-funded nutritional aid programs.

Low-income families are now able to use federal food stamps to make purchases at the Provo Farmers Market as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, according to Provo Farmers Market Manager Quinn Peterson. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal aid program devoted to providing low-income families with access to adequate nutrition.

The Provo Farmers Market also allows low-income, families who qualify for nutritional assistance eligibility use the Double Up Food Bucks program. The Double Up Food Bucks program is funded by a grant issued to Utahns Against Hunger, which doubles food stamp money as long it is used only for the purchase of fruits and vegetables.

Peterson said this not only encourages healthy eating for low-income families, but also benefits local produce vendors.

The Provo Farmers Market will also host a small market only for produce vendors each Tuesday night beginning the first week in August and ending the last Tuesday in October.

The Happy Valley Farmers Markets in Springville and Orem also participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program.

Times and locations of all farmers markets in Utah County are listed below:

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