As of the end of July, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries are now able to get more bang for their buck at the Old Town Farmers’ Market. The City of Alexandria’s Old Town Farmers’ Market began participating in the Double Dollar program on July 20. All SNAP (formerly known as the food stamp program) beneficiaries have to do is visit the market, stop by the information booth to swipe their EBT card, and receive up to $10 in double dollar tokens to use with vendors.
The Double Dollar program is used as an incentive so that more families can shop at farmers’ markets, and in turn, have access to healthier and locally grown foods.
The Old Town Farmers’ Market has been participating in the SNAP program since April 2013. Since then, beneficiaries have been able to use their electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and other eligible food products at the market.
SNAP, a federally-funded program, is a win-win for Alexandria residents and retailers. For every $5 in new SNAP benefits used, the community receives almost double that amount in economic activity. Research has shown that low-income households participating in SNAP have access to more food nutrients, like proteins, and an array of essential vitamins and minerals in their home food supply. This initiative also helps increase the customer base at the market, creating an additional source of revenue for the vendors.
Implementing the SNAP program at the Old Town Farmers’ Market was made possible with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture and through partnership with the Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network.
The Old Town Farmers’ Market is located on in Market Square at 301 King St., and is open on Saturdays year round from 7 a.m. to noon.
For more information contact Market Master of the Old Town Farmers’ Market, Megha Even, at 703.746.3200, or [email protected].