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“Fresh Bucks” allow SNAP recipients to shop at local farmers’ markets

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106_smThe Hunger Coalition and the Wood River Farmers’ Markets are teaming up again to increase access to fresh, locally grown food for those in need.

People can purchase fresh food at the Ketchum and Hailey Farmers’ Market with their SNAP dollars. With the help from local sponsors, Fresh Bucks money will be doubled, up to $20.  For individuals living on a tight food budget, this will allow their $20 SNAP credit to become $40 worth of fresh, healthy food. This offer will be available to participants weekly while funds last.

“This program allows community members living in financial crisis to not only have the benefit of accessing local fresh food, they can also participate in the healthy and vibrant farmers’ market atmosphere and support local farmers,” said Naomi Spence, Associate Director.

Here is a testimonial from Gregory, a Wood River Valley resident who used Fresh Bucks last year:
“I’ve always been in love with Farmers’ Markets and now I have even more incentive to be able to go to the market and essentially get $40 of fresh, local produce, for $20! The Fresh Bucks program is beneficial because many people don’t buy healthy food because they think they can’t afford it, but with DOUBLE YOUR BUCKS money, it allows you buy fresh, local food affordably. It’s also a great environment for teaching kids to identify healthier food and my daughter loves meeting the farmers growing the food and helping pick out the produce. Many farmers offer samples–that is so great for kids to taste the produce or fruits they’re selling.”

The program is simple – participants visit the Fresh Bucks booth at the Ketchum or Hailey location. After swiping their SNAP card, they will receive tokens which will be accepted at farmers’ booths displaying the Fresh Bucks sign. In addition, matching Fresh Bucks tokens up to $20 can be used to purchase the following fresh food items: fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs, meat and honey.  Prepared foods such as pies and jams are excluded from this program.

The markets run from June 9 to October 8 and are in Ketchum on Tuesdays from 2-6pm at the Fourth Street Heritage Corridor and in Hailey on Thursdays from 2-6pm on Main Street next to Sturtos. Contact The Hunger Coalition at 788-0121 or email: for more information on the Fresh Bucks program.

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