The D.C. Farmers Market Collaborative asks that you please call Mayor Gray TODAY!

Mayor Gray is finalizing the budget for the 2013 fiscal year and needs to hear from D.C. farmers market supporters about making nutrition incentives a priority. Currently, the budget does not include any funding for farmers market incentive programs.

ACTION NEEDED: Call or e-mail the Mayor’s Office at 202-727-6263 or vincent.gray@dc.gov and relay the following message:

“My name is ____ and I run a farmers market (name) and/or am a supporter of D.C. farmers markets (name of markets you support). Please put $150,000 into the fiscal year 2013 budget for farmers market incentive programs for SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program), WIC, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) recipients. This District support would help leverage additional investments from foundations and other donors. It would help low-income consumers double the amount of fruits and vegetables they can purchase at participating farmers markets and generate local economic activity.”  -end of message to mayor’s office –

Background:
By providing an incentive for SNAP, WIC, and FMNP shoppers, farmers market incentive programs benefit low-income consumers, bolster the local economy, and promote consumption of fruits and vegetables. For example, a SNAP recipient who redeems $5 of these federal benefits at a D.C. farmers market that operates a “Bonus Bucks” program would then receive $5 worth of those Bonus Bucks (matching incentives) to spend on healthful, locally grown food. This means that the SNAP recipient ended up with $10 to spend on produce that day. In D.C., such grant-funded pilot programs are working effectively at eight markets and are expanding to even more D.C. markets in the 2012 season.  These incentive programs benefit low-income consumers, but they also bolster the local economy and promote consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Please forward this message far and wide! We need your help!

Thanks,
Lauren Shweder Biel
Executive Director
DC Greens

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