ANN ARBOR, Mich. – September is Hunger Action Month and as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, the number of community members facing food insecurity increases.
From March through June, Food Gatherers distributed more than 2.8 million pounds of food as demands on its 170 partnering organizations have grown. The Ann Arbor-based food rescue program has stated that there is a 30-300 percent increase in the number of community members seeking food assistance.
While organizations and food pantries are able to assist individuals facing food insecurity, farmers markets are also another place to turn.
Community members with an active EBT/Bridge card can purchase food through the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
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Here’s how it works:
Through the Double Up Bucks program, every $1 of SNAP benefits can be doubled.
According to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market website, those using SNAP dollars just need to swipe their food assistance card at the market office window.
They will then receive $1 tokens to use on eligible food items including meat, cheese, vegetables, fruit, bread, herbs, eggs, and food-producing plants. They will also be given Double Up tokens to get more food.
Previously, Double Up program tokens were limited to $20 but the Ann Arbor Farmers Market suspended that limitation so community members can stretch their food assistance benefits even further.
The Westside Farmers' Market and Pittsfield Farmers Market also support food assistance programs including the Bridge Card and Double Up Bucks programs.
The Ann Arbor Farmers Market is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at 315 Detroit St.