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Programs Help Stretch SNAP Benefits At Local Farmers Markets

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Local farmers markets are offering more incentives to buy local and fresh produce for people who are on the Supplemental Nutrition A...

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Local farmers markets are offering more incentives to buy local and fresh produce for people who are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Programs allow people to double the value of their SNAP benefits when they shop at local farmers markets.

One of the programs is called Double Up Food Bucks. It allows shoppers to use up to $20 of their snap money at farmers markets, and then the program will match with another $20.

Shivaun Hurtado said she and her family have benefited from the program.

"It allows me to keep buying fresh produce weekly and it allows me to double up my money,” Hurtado said. "I'm able to do that and spend my money locally, so I'm happy to do that."

Local vendors like Donilyn Rutherford said it benefits them too.

“It helps us keep our food fresh because we are selling more of it, and then we in turn have more money so that we can, you know, utilize it for our needs too," Rutherford said. "So it's a really good economy booster."

The double up program applies to veggies and fruit.

If you live in Washington or Benton counties, a grant from the Walmart Foundation is funding Double Your Dollars, which is another program that gives you coupons that can be used on veggies, fruits, meats, cheeses and eggs.

Heather Friedrich at the University of Arkansas manages that program.

“Being able to provide that extra security from them to get healthy, nutritious foods is really great,” Friedrich said. "Also it really benefits our community, our local economy as well because the money goes directly to our local farmers. That match goes directly to our local farmers."