Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Food Assistance Use at Farmers Markets Grows 130% in One Year

Boy there's so much stuff going on today I almost feel silly talking about food stamps and farmer's markets. Obama laid down the gauntlet with a bold statement in favor of restoring the American Middle Class, there was some great information and press about the successes of "Obamacare", and Hillary Clinton has been promoting gay rights globally...

It's just been a great day.

And here's some more good news...sort of. More Michigan farrmers markets are accepting food assistance from people, and the amount of food assistance spent at Michigan farmers markets grew by 140% from 2009 to 2010.

While it's not great that there's a growing number of people relying on food assistance. It's a good thing that food assistance money is, more and more, being spent here in Michigan on Michigan grown produce at local farmers markets.

For those not in the know, the Michigan name for the food assistance card is the Bridge Card. And as a note to Newt Gingrich, no...though it IS a card, you actually CANNOT use it to fly to Hawaii.

Anyway, here are the numbers:

Number of Farmer's Markets Accepting Bridge Cards: 2009 - 26 | 2010 - 49
Statewide Bridge Card Sales at Farmers Markets: 2009 - 297,077 | 2010 - 705,969
Average Bridge Card Sales per Farmer's market: 2009 - 12,376 | 2010 - 17,219
Average Amount of Bridge Card Transaction: 2009 - 12 | 2010 - 16


The Holland Farmers’ Market will also be applying for the “DoubleUp Food Bucks ” grant, which will allow users to double their redemption power, up to $20. It is hoped that the City will be able to self-fund the program after the two year period.

The way I see it...these are dollars going to feed Americans, used more and more to go into the pockets of local, small time American farmers. It's fantastic.

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