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How this nonprofit is helping Virginians afford fresh food

How this non-profit is helping Virginians afford fresh food
Posted at 8:52 PM, Jun 20, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Fresh Match is now offering a program that rewards people who use SNAP or EBT cards at farmer's markets or certain grocery stores.

The program, called VFM match, promises users that for every dollar spent using SNAP, they will get the same amount matched. They can use it to buy fresh produce, according to John Montgomery with the Dorey Park.

“And this is just a way to make sure that everybody has access to those locally grown vegetables,” Montgomery said.

VFM is doing this in an effort to combat food insecurity, which has been an ongoing issue in Richmond for years. A study from Feeding America states that approximately 15.8% of Richmond residents are food insecure.

Montgomery, who runs a farmer’s market at Dorey Park, plans to fight the issue further with little SNAPS, which allows for even more money to be earned for people with children.

“If they were to use $20 of the SNAP benefits, they get an additional $20 to spend on fresh produce at the market,” Montgomery said. “Now they have $40, And then on top of that they get an additional $10 for up to two children.”

Little SNAPS is available for everyone who already receives SNAP benefits, according to Montgomery.

Montgomery encourages everyone that qualifies to take advantage of both and check with your local farmers market or community grocery store to see if they offer it.

“I saw families with wagons leaving out and I've heard feedback from families and say that they're able to come here and get the fresh produce that they need to augment what they're getting otherwise,” Montgomery said.

The Dorey Park farmer’s market runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon and lasts from June to October.

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