Initiative increases access to healthy food for SNAP recipients
Brooksville, FL (May 24th, 2019) – The Brooksville Farmers Market is now participating in Feeding Florida’s Fresh Access Bucks (FAB), an initiative that increases access to healthy, local, fresh produce for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients.
FAB is a statewide incentive program designed to encourage SNAP recipients to redeem their benefits at farmers markets to purchase fresh, healthy foods directly from Florida farmers through farmers markets, as well as in the retail space with a focus on the local corner store to ensure all food insecure individuals have access to affordable, fresh, locally-sourced produce in their community.
At participating farmers markets, FAB matches what a SNAP cardholder spends with FREE Fresh Access Bucks - up to $40, every market day. Customers can use them right away or later on to buy Florida grown fruits and vegetables.
For example, a SNAP shopper who spends $10 of their SNAP benefits at a participating farmers market receives an additional $10 to purchase fresh, local produce. Currently there are 28 farmers markets and two CSAs participating in Fresh Access Bucks throughout the state. Increasing the affordability and accessibility of healthy foods and nutrition education efforts, such as cooking demos at FAB markets, is integral to increasing the purchase and consumption of fresh, local produce.
“The Hernando County Growers Association, Inc. is privileged to now offer the Fresh Access Bucks program at the Brooksville Farmers’ Market,” said Angela Okrasinski, Director of Membership and Vendor Manager for Brooksville Farmers’ Market. “Our mission is improving food access in our community and building an agricultural economy for Hernando County. Providing an opportunity for everyone to access fresh local produce through FAB enables us to build a healthy community and sustainable farms.”
Brooksville Farmers’ Market is the first Hernando County-based market to participate in FAB.
“Our Farmers’ Cooperative, The Hernando County Growers’ Association is committed to building agriculture in Hernando County and improving access to the very best fresh food for our community. Since our beginning in 2017, bringing the FAB program to Hernando County has been one of our leading objectives and we are proud to have the opportunity to offer this very special program,” added Okrasinski.
The Brooksville Farmers’ Market is located at 615 Old Hospital Drive, Brooksville, FL 34601 (Between Broad Street/HWY 41 and Jefferson Street) and is open year-round every Sunday 9:00 A.M. to 3 P.M. For more information, please reach out to Michael DeFelice at 727-422-3360 or Info@HernandoGrowers.org. More information can be found online at www.HernandoGrowers.org or on Facebook at Hernando Growers.
For more information on FAB and the other participating markets around the state, please visit www.FreshAccessBucks.com.
About Feeding Florida
Feeding Florida is the state’s lead organization in the fight to end hunger. Our statewide network unites 12-member food banks to provide a healthy, adequate, and consistent food supply to every community every day. Feeding Florida member food banks support more than 2,600 local charitable agencies, which provide food directly to individuals and families in need to ensure a hunger-free Florida. Each year, the Feeding Florida network provides food to the 3.3 million Floridians facing hunger, including 1.1 million children and 700,000 seniors. Feeding Florida is a unified voice regarding hunger and food insecurity by focusing on each community’s needs.
Feeding Florida’s member food banks include: All Faiths Food Bank, America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Inc., Bread of the Mighty, Feeding Northeast Florida, Feeding South Florida, Feeding Tampa Bay, Feeding the Gulf Coast, First Step Food Bank, Florida Gateway Food Bank, Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and Treasure Coast Food Bank.