Lehigh Valley Fresh Food Bucks
Residents eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the food stamp program, can use their EBT/ACCESS card to get FREE fresh, local produce at participating locations. It’s easy to use: Just shop with your EBT/ACCESS card at participating locations and we’ll match every dollar you spend so you can but more fresh, local fruits and vegetables. We match up to $10/day! Please visit lvfreshfoodbucks.org for participating locations and more information.
Obtenga comida fresca y local GRATIS con Dolares de Comida Fresca! Es Fácil de Usar: Usa su tarjeta de EBT/ACCESS a un establecimiento que participa. ¡Igualamos lo que usted gaste de manera que usted pueda comprar más frutas y vegetales frescos y locales! Hasta $10 por dia.Visite lvfreshfoodbucks.org para encontrar las ubicaciones participantes y más información.
“In the winter of 2014/2015, I went from having three part-time jobs to zero jobs… I was surprised to learn that even when I picked up one, and then another, part-time job, working 40+ hours per week, I still fell slightly short of what I needed every months to pay my bills. I have been a recipient of SNAP benefits since May 2015… going to the Easton Farmers’ Market every Saturday was often times what I most looked forward to in a week… And being able to offer $20 of SNAP to get $40 back to spend at the market— that was exceptionally helpful to me. The first time the folks from the market explained it to me, I thought I misunderstood. Was it too good to be true? Can I really come here and buy such beautiful veggies and have my food assistance DOUBLED? When it was hard to get out of bed some days, being able to make a beautiful fresh, healthy meal for myself was incredibly important on my path to self-care. It was possible because of Buy Fresh Buy Local working with SNAP.”
The Double SNAP program is made possible by funding from the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives grant program, Two Rivers Health and Wellness Foundation, a Lehigh Valley Community Foundation 50th Anniversary Spark Grant, and support from the Kellyn Foundation, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Lehigh Valley Health Network and the Greater Easton Development Partnership.
Farmers Market Nutrition Program
BFBLGLV has worked with community-based organizations and agencies to improve the distribution and redemption of Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers since 2017. Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers are a series of $5 checks that can be used to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables directly from farmers.
Mothers participating in WIC are eligible for $20 worth of vouchers if they are pregnant, breast feeding and/or postpartum. Moms are also eligible for $20 worth of vouchers for each child up to age 5. Talk with your WIC manager to get vouchers and learn more!
Low-income seniors 60 and over with income eligibility may qualify. Proof of age and residence must be presented to recieve the vouchers. Checks are distributed at a number of locations throughout the season, but most distributions occur in June. Contact your local Agency on Aging or Senior Center for more information.
Our work focuses on coordinating efforts to reduce the barriers participants face including transportation, preparation, knowledge of program, and how and where to get and use vouchers. Efforts in the 2019 season included developing attractive and more informative brochures about redemption locations and utilizing the program; coordinating pop-up markets at locations facing transportation barriers; developing and distributing informational outreach materials; co-promoting FMNP with our Fresh Food Bucks Program; and more. This program began seeing decreases in use in 2016 and it is our hope that through coordinated efforts, 2019 distribution data will show marked increases in use.
Click the links below to explore our various FMNP resources and initiatives from 2019:
Fresh Food Access Support
BFBLGLV has been instrumental in helping farmers register with the USDA to accept SNAP Benefits and working with community organizations to connect low-income neighborhoods across the Lehigh Valley with fresh, local foods.
BFBLGLV also assisted in establishing market-wide EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) programs at local producer-only markets including the Easton Farmers’ Market , allowing all farmers to accept SNAP benefits for eligible products.
The Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council, chaired by BFBLGLV Director Allison Czapp, operates a Food Access arm to combat hunger among the Valley’s most vulnerable populations. Program support and initiatives include summer meals, food banks, food gleaning, and more.
For more information, contact:
Ellen Underwood, BFBLGLV Outreach Coordinator