The Reston Farmers Market will be among several Fairfax County-sponsored markets that will take SNAP benefits this season.
The county received two grants to support expansion of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) at-market benefits program, formerly known as food stamps.
The 2014 grants will allow for an expanded program that will make farmers markets more accessible to low income families shopping for fresh, locally produced food, says Fairfax County.
In addition to the Reston Market — which operates Saturdays beginning May 3 at Lake Anne Plaza – markets in Lorton and Mount Vernon, as well as the farm stand at Herndon’s Frying Pan Farm Park, will also accept SNAP.
Expansion of the program was made possible through partnerships with Cornerstones, Arcadia, INOVA and the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, says Fairfax County.
Reston, Lorton and Mount Vernon will also offer matching dollar programs, in which the amount of money spent by SNAP recipients will be matched up to $10 for fruits and vegetables. The intent of the matching program is to enable recipients to choose healthier options without spending more of their SNAP funds.
The matching dollars programs at Lorton and McCutcheon/Mount Vernon markets are supported by Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. The matching dollars program at Reston is supported by INOVA. Fundraising efforts continue through other community organizations and grant opportunities to expand this program.