As temperatures warm, the sun shines, and the farmers’ market season gets into full swing, Missoula is once again awash in fresh, local produce. And along with it, even more Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to participate in Double SNAP Dollars thanks to generous awards from the USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) program, the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, and United Way of Missoula County.
On June 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $16.8 million in FINI funding for grant projects that help low-income consumers participating in SNAP purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables through cash incentives, increasing access to fresh, healthy food while increasing markets for local farmers. We are happy to announce that Double SNAP Dollars was one of these programs! You can read more about the FINI program here: http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/fini-awards-2016/
In addition, we are honored to have local support for Double SNAP Dollars from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and the United Way of Missoula County; both foundations recognize the importance of health in improving the quality of people’s lives and building a better community for all. Thanks to their generous donations and USDA FINI funding, Double SNAP Dollars is prepared to expand, providing opportunities for more families to eat better on a budget by providing a one-for-one match when SNAP benefits are used to buy local fruits and vegetables at participating retail locations. With its focus on local food, the program not only helps SNAP shoppers buy more healthy food, it helps our local growers gain new customers and keeps more food dollars in our local economy.
This program was first piloted last year in collaboration with the North Missoula Community Development Corporation and Missoula Community Food Cooperative, Clark Fork Market, Missoula Farmers’ Market, and Western Montana Growers’ Cooperative. During the pilot year, over $20,000 worth of SNAP benefits were matched for over 300 families at these four locations. CFAC is excited to continue coordinating this collaborative program and serve more SNAP participants, local growers, and local businesses!
The following locations offer Double SNAP Dollars in Missoula:
- Clark Fork Market, located under the Higgins Bridge, in the Riverside Parking Lot, just east of Caras Park in downtown Missoula: Every Saturday from 8am – 1pm (May 7 – Oct 29)
- Missoula Farmers’ Market, located at Circle Square, North Higgins Avenue: Every Saturday from 8am – 12:30pm (May 7 – Oct 29); Every Tuesday 5:30pm – 7pm (July 7 – Sept 22)
- Missoula Community Food Cooperative, located at 1500 Burns Street: Open 7 days a week, all year. M-F 10am-8pm; Sat-Sun 10am-5:30pm
- Western Montana Growers Cooperative Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA), delivers local produce boxes to the Bitterroot, Missoula, and Mission valleys, Helena and Butte, May – November
Double SNAP Dollars are available at more locations throughout Montana too!
Columbia Falls Community Market
Operates Thursdays, 5pm – 7:30pm, starting May 19, 2016
Located at “The Locals’ Market”, 830 1st Ave W
Polson Farmers’ Market
Operates Fridays, 9am – 1pm, starting May 6, 2016
Located at 3rd Avenue W, in front of the Cove Deli
Whitefish Farmers’ Market
Operates Tuesdays, 5pm – 7:30pm, starting May 24, 2016
Located at the North end of Central Avenue