Farm is First to make “Local” even more accessible

Sweetwater Farm is all about Community.  Yet, sadly, many folks right in our own back yard don’t know about us; don’t feel welcome; or don’t think they can afford “organic” foods.  In an effort to educate and welcome our neighbors to the Farm, we have applied for and received approval to begin accepting EBT payments from users of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).  Formerly known “Food Stamps”, SNAP recipients will be able to purchase eligible food items from our Sunday Market such as fruits & vegetables, bread, honey, granola, jams, and food-producing plants.

Sweetwater will be the first Farmers Market in Tampa to also incorporate a Florida-grown incentive program that will encourage SNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy locally-grown fruits and vegetables.  The program, called “Fresh Access Bucks” was initiated by Florida Organic Growers who received a Specialty Crop Block Grant to increase the sales of Florida grown fruits and vegetables to Florida consumers, thereby increasing demand for Sweetwater’s locally-grown produce.  Making our Farmers Market foods available to needy families in our neighborhood is one way we can help ensure that nutritious “whole” foods continue to grow in popularity over the cheap processed foods so readily available at every corner store.  It’s what our Farmers Market is all about!

You can help us spread the word about this wonderful incentive program.  If you use SNAP benefits, know anyone who does, or work with SNAP recipients, please let them know they can double their SNAP benefits when they buy our local produce!

We’d like to thank Florida Organic Growers, Inc and Wholesome Wave for their support and funding assistance that enabled us to try this local farm-friendly approach to solving some of the deep-seeded problems in our Community’s food safety net.

See you at the Market!

Andrea Harms, Market Manager

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