This post is based on a press release from MIFMA
Though the growing season is over and snow will be falling soon, many farmers markets in Michigan are still open throughout the winter. Sixteen of these markets accept food assistance benefits, like Bridge Cards, to help get fresh food onto the tables of the families who need it most.
“In Michigan, 1.8 million residents now receives food assistance benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and farmers markets all across Michigan are rising to the challenge to meet that need with fresh, local food,” said Amanda Shreve, Manager of Programs and Partnerships at the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA).
During the summer 2012, clients could use their cards on qualifying foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods and meats at 103 farmers markets, 34% of the more than 300 farmers markets operating in the state. Most of the farmers markets accepting SNAP benefits also participate in other food assistance programs, like Double Up Food Bucks, Market FRESH and WIC Project FRESH.
Buying locally at farmers markets helps circulate money here in Michigan, which is good for the economy and local communities. According to the Food Bank Council of Michigan, for every dollar spent through SNAP in Michigan, $1.80 of local economic activity is generated.
The following West Michigan farmers markets are open throughout the winter and accept SNAP benefits:
- Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids
- Holland Farmers Market in Holland
- Muskegon Farmers Market in Muskegon
- Sweetwater Local Foods Market in Muskegon