By Steven Price, USU Extension
The Carbon-Emery Farmers Market is one of the few markets in the state that requires all produce be grown in the local area. To increase access to local, nutritious foods, there are two programs available to the community. For those who have Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), it is easy to use those benefits at the market. When you bring your Horizon EBT Card to the assistance booth, you can withdraw any amount of funds in exchange for tokens.
These tokens can be used to purchase SNAP eligible food items from vendors. Eligible foods include produce, herbs, meat, eggs, baked goods (breads, rolls, cereals, etc.), dairy products, home canned fruits, pickled vegetables, jams/preserves, salsa and household snacks (dehydrated fruit, freeze dried products and frozen products). Additionally, for every dollar in SNAP withdrawn, up to $30 per day, the market matches a free dollar’s worth of Double Up Food Bucks tokens. These can be used to purchase any whole fruits and vegetables at the market.
“I’m really excited about this program. It can help a lot of families in the area access local foods and I love seeing direct-to-consumer sales,” said Price. “That’s money going directly back to a local farmer or other producers. The quality of our local agricultural products is hands-down better than what you will get from the grocery store.”
This year, the market is participating in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) state-wide pilot program. For seniors (60+ years) with SNAP or a Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) card, they automatically qualify.
Other seniors may qualify if they meet maximum income guidelines of $25,142 annual income for household of one or $33,874 annual income for household of two. Qualifying individuals receive an additional $50 voucher booklet for the year, which can be used at any participating Utah farmers market for the purchase of fresh produce, herbs and honey. Interested seniors can ask about qualification and apply on-site for benefits at the program booth.
“Some seniors might be hesitant about asking if they qualify, but there are very simple guidelines. It takes about five minutes to fill out the contact information on-site then get your voucher book,” Price concluded.
The 2022 Carbon-Emery Farmers Market is located in Sutherlands parking lot from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. every Saturday through October.