The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

SNAP shoppers are eligible for Market Match benefits

 


Shoppers who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/EBT benefits can receive up to $40 in matching SNAP Market Match dollars to purchase fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, mushrooms, and seeds and plants that produce food at certified farmers markets throughout the state of Washington.

“It’s an amazing program,” Heather Odom, a Healthy Community Specialist for Wahkiakum Health and Human Services said last week.

The closest certified market to use the benefit is the Cowlitz Community Farmers Market, located at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds parking lot, which is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from April through October.

For more information about the farmers market, go to http://www.cowlitzfarmersmarket.com. For more information about the SNAP Market Match program, visit doh.wa.gov/SNAPMarketMatch.

Last year, the health department received 27 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers. This year, they have 65 to give away. Eligible applicants can receive up to $80 in vouchers that can be used to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, and honey.

The program runs from June 1 to October 31 and is available to Washington residents 60 years or older, or 55 and older if Native American or Alaskan Native.

Income must be below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty level. For example, a one person household must make less than $25,142 annually, and a two person household must make less than $33,874 annually.

For more information or to find out if you qualify, call Kelly Patterson at 360-795-8630 Option 4 to apply for the program.

Participants in the local Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program (WIC) are eligible for produce vouchers up to $28. WIC vouchers can be used for fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and fresh herbs.

There are currently five vouchers left. Contact Gina at the Health Department for more information, 360-795-6207.

Wahkiakum on the Move offers a bus route to the Saturday Cowlitz Community Farmers Market for anyone who would like to take advantage of these programs but struggles to get into Longview.

If a passenger wants to go to the market, they will just need to let the driver know when they get on the bus and the driver will make the stop at the market.

The last stop departs from the Chevron at 9:45 a.m. The farmers market drop off will be at approximately 10:35 a.m. and pick up will be at approximately 11:20 a.m. Contact Camille at 360-795-3101 for questions on routes.

“There’s plenty of room, just call Camille,” Community Services Manager Julie Johnston said. “She will walk you through the schedule. If you tell the bus drivers where you are going, they’ll make sure they get you there, and make sure you get home.”

"We want to encourage people to use it,” Johnston added. “It’s expensive, it’s hard to get out there. This is an opportunity to be social and get healthy food. It’s fun, the bus is high up, and they can just sit back and see the cliffs and the birds. Plus, it’s cheap.”

Bus rates: Seniors (62 and up) are free, $1 each trip, $10 monthly unlimited bus pass, $10 punch card.

 

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