Make a call today to support DC farmers market incentive programs

Hi folks, 

If you live in DC or shop at farmers markets in DC, please take a minute to call or write today in support of farmers market incentive programs.  Here’s the info you need, passed on from Robin at Markets and More (14th and U and Bloomingdale Markets).

Also, there are still a few spaces left the CSA, so sign up soon.  See the previous post for instructions. 

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We have been petitioning the DC Mayor’s office to put $150,000 in the 2013 budget to support these programs at farmers’ markets citywide.  And we just heard that it might happen  — IF the Mayor hears from a LOT of us today and tomorrow.

WE NEED YOUR HELP—  It will just take a few seconds.
Please call Mayor Gray Today or Friday before 3 pm!    Phone calls make a big impact.

Please call the Mayor’s Office at 202-727-6263  —  or you can email vincent.gray@dc.gov — and relay  the following message — just the first two lines will be fine if you are calling in.

“My name is ____ and I am a supporter of D.C. farmers’ markets, especially [name of market(s) 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.

Some 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 DC, such grant-funded pilot programs at eight markets (in fact, the Columbia Heights and Ward 8 markets did so well they had to apply for additional funding!) and are expanding to even more DC markets in the 2012 season.  These incentive programs benefit low-income consumers and promote consumption of fruits and vegetables– and help local farmers too.

Please forward this message far and wide! We need your help.  The deadline is Friday at 3 pm.

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