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Posts Tagged ‘Fresh Access Bucks’

Fresh Access Bucks kicks off season with team updates and new markets

FAB-RGB-TransparentFlorida’s season is in full swing, and the Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) team is busier than ever! We have some updates on the team implementing the FAB incentives program across Florida as we prepare for an exciting 2017.

The FAB team is sad to say farewell to Program Manager Carmen Franz. Carmen has been instrumental in growing the Fresh Access Bucks program from infancy, and was responsible for program management, development, and training new market partners. We wish Carmen the best in her future endeavors!

Katie Delaney and Mary Hathaway are currently leading the FAB program. They will manage development and handle training for current and new markets. Kayvon Bahramian will continue to provide SNAP tech support to farmers markets throughout Florida.

Fresh Access Bucks is a statewide program incentivizing SNAP recipients to redeem their benefits at participating farmers markets to purchase fresh, healthy foods directly from Florida farmers. The program matches what a SNAP cardholder spends, up to $20 every market day. Customers can use their Fresh Access Bucks tokens right away or later on to buy Florida grown fruits and vegetables.

Visit the FAB website for the markets currently participating in the program. New markets will be added this fall!

katie_kayvon_mary-imageFresh Access Bucks Team (L to R): Katie Delaney, Kayvon Bahramian and May Hathaway  

Fresh Access Bucks accepting applications for the FABulous Network

Attention Florida farmers and farmers markets!

Interested in expanding your customer base and sales?

Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) is currently seeking applications to add more farmers and markets to the FABulous network. FAB is designed to encourage Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) recipients to redeem their benefits at farmers markets and CSAs to purchase fresh, healthy foods directly from Florida farmers.

At participating outlets, FOG matches what a SNAP cardholder spends with FREE Fresh Access Bucks – up to $20, every market day. Customers can use them right away or later on to buy Florida grown fruits and vegetables. Priority will be given to farmers and markets that already have EBT, that are located in and around low income areas and along transportation routes.

Please email info@freshaccessbucks.com for more information and visit www.FreshAccessBucks.com to download an application.

FOG offers SNAP Tech Support for Florida Farmers and Farmers Markets

FOG is now offering SNAP Tech Support, a program that offers guidance, advice and resources for Florida farmers and farmers markets interested in accepting SNAP benefits (formally known as food stamps).

If you’re interested in growing your customer base, increasing your sales, expanding access to healthy foods, and strengthening your local community and farms, then accepting SNAP as a payment option might be right for you! See the flier below for more details and how you can start accepting SNAP!

 

FOG expands technical support to farmers and markets wishing to accept SNAP

Our work has impacted farmers, consumers and the community. We want to thank our Friends of FOG members and donors for their support as they have been vital to our success.

We encourage you to join with us as we continue this invaluable work. 

In October, we were awarded a Farmers Market SNAP Support Grant (FMSSG) to increase the capacity of our Fresh Access Bucks farmers markets to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as food stamps.KYV Farm

Fresh Access Bucks 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. At participating markets, FOG matches what a SNAP cardholder spends with FREE Fresh Access Bucks – up to $20, 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 market receives an additional $10 to purchase fresh, local produce.

The grant funding will increase the capacity of 20 Fresh Access Bucks partners managing the participation of SNAP at 29 farmers markets.

It does so by providing each partner with funding to hire part-time staff to manage SNAP activities for the markets. By providing the partners with funding for part-time staff over two years, we anticipate greater SNAP redemption rates at these 29 markets through increased outreach and visibility of the program.

This is huge for our efforts in Florida!

In addition to supporting the establishment, management and promotion of SNAP/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) services at farmers markets, FMSS grant funds will also expand our technical support to farmers and farmers markets wishing to accept SNAP.

Won’t you join with us as we change Florida’s food landscape?

Florida Organic Growers receives Farmers Market SNAP Support Grant

Florida Organic Growers (FOG) has been awarded a Farmers Market SNAP Support Grant (FMSSG) to increase the capacity of their Fresh Access Bucks farmers markets to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as food stamps.

Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) makes fresh, local produce more affordable and accessible to low income families while supporting Florida’s farmers and enhancing our local economies. It does so by increasing the purchasing power of SNAP participants by providing a one-to-one match for Florida grown fruits and vegetables. A SNAP cardholder who spends $10 of their SNAP benefits at a participating market receives an additional $10 to purchase fresh, local produce.

The grant funding will increase the capacity of 20 Fresh Access Bucks partners managing the participation of SNAP at 29 farmers markets.

It does so by providing each partner with funding to hire part-time staff to manage SNAP activities for the markets. By providing the partners with funding for part-time staff over two years, Florida Organic Growers anticipates greater SNAP redemption rates at these 29 markets through increased outreach and visibility of the program.

In addition to supporting the establishment, management and promotion of SNAP/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) services at those markets, FMSS grant funds will also expand Florida Organics Growers’  technical support to farmers and farmers markets wishing to accept SNAP.

“We are thrilled to be able to utilize this grant at 29 of our Fresh Access Bucks markets across the state,” said Fresh Access Bucks Manager Carmen Franz. “To increase the use of SNAP benefits at farmers markets for the purchase of fresh, local, healthy produce is a win-win for both SNAP recipients and our state’s farmers.”

FAB Program

This project benefits more than 5,000 SNAP recipients throughout Florida and is expected to increase farmer revenue by $580,000 over two years by expanding the ability of these partners to implement SNAP activities, hiring a part-time Fresh Access Bucks assistant to expand technical support to farmers and farmers markets wishing to accept SNAP and increase Florida Organics Growers’ capacity to manage the Fresh Access Bucks incentive network statewide.

For more information on Fresh Access Bucks and the participating markets around the state, please visit the Florida Organic Growers website.

FOG kicks off growing season by providing Fresh Access Bucks to communities around Florida

Program expands access to healthy food for low-income families

Florida Organic Growers is kicking off the growing season by partnering with farmers markets around the state to provide Fresh Access Bucks, a program that expands access to healthy food for low-income families.

Currently, there are 23 farmers markets participating in the program.

Fresh Access Bucks makes fresh, local produce more affordable and accessible to low income families while supporting Florida’s farmers and enhancing our local economies. It does so by increasing the purchasing power of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants by providing a one-to-one match for Florida grown fruits and vegetables. A SNAP cardholder who spends $10 of their SNAP benefits at a participating market receives an additional $10 to purchase fresh, local produce.

FAB Program

This past April, FOG, the organization that created that program, was awarded the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant to continue providing FAB to communities in Florida. Through the grant, FAB will serve 50 markets over a 3-year period located in at least 21 counties throughout Florida. FOG works in partnership with markets in low-income communities, supportive community organizations, private businesses, and state and local government agencies to implement this program.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, more than $200,000 was generated in revenue for Florida grown fruits and vegetables, more than 150 Florida farmers participated and expanded to more than 3,000 new market shoppers. This project will benefit more than 18,000 SNAP recipients throughout Florida and will increase farmer revenue by $2.1 million.

“Families eat more fruits and vegetables when they’re accessible and affordable, and simply taste better than food shipped long distances,” said Fresh Access Bucks Manager Carmen Franz. “Shopping at farmers markets also strengthens the local economy as it keeps more money circulating in the community, making it more resilient in economic downturns.”

For more information about the program and participating markets, please visit the Fresh Access Bucks website.

FOG awarded USDA grant to expand access to healthy food for low-income families

United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday, April 1 at a at a press conference in Orlando that Florida Organic Growers (FOG) was a recipient of a Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant.

#4The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. This new program was part of the 2014 Farm Bill and is the first time there has been federal legislation that has supported programs of this type. This grant program is funded at $100 million over 5 years.

The Secretary, who made the announcement at Freshfields Farm, said, “Encouraging low income families to put more healthy food in their grocery baskets is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to improving the diet and health of all Americans.” Vilsack continued, “These creative community partnerships also benefit regional food producers and local economies along with SNAP participants.”

FOG’s proposal, “Fresh Access Bucks: Increasing Food Access And Florida Farmer Sales At Markets Statewide” will serve 50 markets over a 3-year period located in at least 21 counties throughout Florida. FOG works in partnership with markets in low-income communities, supportive community organizations, private businesses, and state and local government agencies to implement this program. #3

Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) increases the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by providing economic incentives at the point of purchase for SNAP participants. FAB enables farmers markets to accept EBT and allows SNAP users to purchase double their food dollars for fresh, Florida-grown fruits and vegetables at farmers markets.

“This program was developed with the support of anti-hunger, faith-based, farm-related and nonprofit organizations working together to figure out how to make healthier foods available to SNAP recipients,” said FOG Executive Director Marty Mesh. “It was a multi-year, broad-based effort to get to this day and we are thankful for the partners who stood by us.”

This project will benefit more than 18,000 SNAP recipients throughout Florida and will increase farmer revenue by $2.1 million.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, more than $200,000 was generated in revenue for Florida grown fruits and vegetables, more than 150 Florida farmers participated and expanded to more than 3,000 new market shoppers.

“There are many benefits to FAB,” said Carmen Franz, FOG Community Food Project Coordinator and manager of the FAB program. “Families eat more fruits and vegetables when they’re accessible and affordable, and simply taste better than food shipped long distances. Shopping at farmers markets also strengthens the local economy as it keeps more money circulating in the community, making it more resilient in economic downturns. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Fresh Access Bucks featured in 2014 Community Health Improvement Plan Report Card

2014 Community Health Improvement Plan Report Card 

Florida Organic Growers is part of the Partnership for a Healthier Duval, a team of leaders, community partners, and citizens that are interested in improving the health of Duval County. The Partnership represents more than 150 community members and stakeholders, including the City of Jacksonville Mayor’s Office, the City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department, Duval County Public Schools, local health coalitions, churches, community organizations, hospitals and clinics.

Recently, FOG’s Fresh Access Bucks program was featured in their 2014 Community Health Improvement Plan Report Card. The report card reveals best practices in the field and the dedication of agencies and community members to support Duval residents as they achieve a healthier life.

In Duval County, the markets participating in Fresh Access Bucks include: Beaches Green Market in Neptune Beach and the Mid-Week Market in Atlantic Beach. SNAP recipients in Duval County, predominantly ones living in the Beaches area, increased their access to and consumption of locally produced fruits and vegetables. Farmers increased their revenues by $4158 in 3 months from the program.

View the report card and see how Fresh Access Bucks is impacting people’s lives in Duval county!

Farmers Market Focus: Alachua County Farmers Market, Gainesville

As National Farmers Market Week comes to a close, we want to spotlight Florida’s original growers market…the Alachua County Farmers Market!

Founded in 1972, the market was held in a downtown parking lot at the corner of University Avenue and Main Street. Since 1991, it has been taking place in the county owned pavilion it is held in to this day.

441pic1The mission of the Alachua County Farmers Market is to give growers a place to sell home grown produce directly to the public so they can generate sustainable income from farming. By doing so, it has enabled many farmers to keep on farming instead of having to take other jobs or to sell their land for development.

Open every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and held at the intersection of US 441 and 34th Street, the market primarily sells produce as well as plants, flowers, meats, dairy, egg, honey and more.

Since the market is a grower’s only market, those selling produce, plants, and other products at the market are not allowed to purchase produce from other farms or wholesalers and resell it. Everything sold at the market was produced in Florida and within a 50 mile radius.

While some vendors may have some non-farming helpers behind their booths, there will be at least one person who can tell you how the crops were grown, whether or not they are organic, and what variety they are. Plant sellers can tell you whether a particular shrub needs shade or sun and how often it should be watered.

Upcoming events include a food preservation demonstration on Saturday, August 16th at 9:30 a.m. and a summer festival on Saturday. September 6th. Both events are free and open to the public.

Through a partnership with Florida Organic Growers, the Alachua County Farmers Market offers Fresh Access Bucks, a program that doubles the amount of Florida grown fruits & vegetables SNAP recipients can purchase at the market.

For more information on the Alachua County Farmers Market, please like them on Facebookstrawberries

For a complete list of Farmers Markets that participate in Fresh Access Bucks, please visit the Fresh Access Bucks page.

For a list of all farmers markets in Florida, please visit our map!

Farmers Market Focus: St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market

Today we are highlighting one of the top 20 markets in the country and the largest in the southeastern United States … the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market!

IMG_0229Founded in November 2002, the market, opened Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and located at the Al Lang Field parking lot (the corner of 1st St and 1st Ave S) in downtown St Petersburg along the waterfront, boasts about 10,000 attendees on a typical Saturday and 200 vendors filling more than 130 spaces.

Customers of the market are able to buy high quality produce and other products directly from local growers. Worden Farm, an organic far1798839_10152260382018560_1573742170_nm located in Punta Gorda, is a huge market favorite. In the fall, the market will have three organic or permaculture farms.

In addition to produce, the market prides itself on having more nationalities or styles of ‘ready-to-eat’ food than any market in the United States (e.g. Greek, Italian, French, Belgian, German, Polish, British, Cuban, Mexican, Ecuadoran, Colombian, Thai, Ethiopian, Cajun, Vegetarian, and more). They have a variety of artisan food vendors. (fresh seafood, baked goods e.g. , pastries, jams, chocolates, cheeses, salsas, chutneys, sauces, imported truffles, pickles, popsicles, spices, jerky etc.)

Coming up this fall, the market will have a weekly Taste Cart with guest chefs and cooks showcasing market foods.

Through a partnership with Florida Organic Growers, the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market offers Fresh Access Bucks, a program that doubles the amount of Florida grown fruits & vegetables SNAP recipients can purchase at the market.

St. Pete MarketFor more information on the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market, please like them on Facebook!

For a complete list of Farmers Markets that participate in Fresh Access Bucks, please visit the Fresh Access Bucks page.

For a list of all farmers markets in Florida, please visit our map!