Sunday, July 19, 2015

4MRMarket Increases Incentives for SNAP Customers


4MRMarket Increases Incentives for SNAP Customers with USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program

Already a leader in promoting healthy & foods to folks of all walks of life, 4MRMarket just expanded its groundbreaking program!!

Sunday, the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market (4MRMarket) increased access to fruits and vegetables for the food insecure of Arlandria and the surrounding neighborhoods, while also benefitting small and mid-sized farmers in the region. The new incentive program was made possible by the USDA with $31.5 million granted through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Program (FINI). National nonprofit Wholesome Wave received a $3.77 million FINI grant, of which 4MRMarket, as a subgrantee, received $4,100.

“It's been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work to build 4MRMarket over the past few years. We'd hope to continue to be much more but it's awesome to look back to 2010 and see how far we've come. Since then we helped bring about a lot of improvement to Four Mile Run Park through fund-raising and plain, old hard work, helped raise funds for a variety of other non-profits and helped folks of all walks of life,” says Nick Partee, Co-Market Manager and Founder.

Since June 2010, the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market has been committed to bringing fresh, nutritious food to people of all income levels, provide an opportunity for local artisans and producers of goods to bring their wares to market, strive to reflect the diversity of the community, and improve the quality of life for Arlandria residents and visitors. With the grant, 4MRMarket increases affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables for SNAP consumers in Arlandria, while also supporting local agriculture.

“The Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market was the first farmers market in Northern Virginia to enable SNAP beneficiaries to Buy Fresh, Buy Local and we are proud to have been able to assist others with technical assistance and to see the program grow throughout the region. We are more than excited to grow this program and provide these additional incentives!,” says Kevin Beekman, Co-Market Manager at 4MRMarket.

4MRMarket received this award as a subgrantee on a larger $3.77 million grant, which nonprofit, Wholesome Wave, obtained from the USDA to support their national network of nutrition incentive partners. 4MRMarket is one of 32 community-based organizations that will join Wholesome Wave in this Large-Scale FINI Project. Wholesome Wave’s network is a robust community of innovation and learning, linking incentive programs through uniform data collection and evaluation to support the expansion and adoption of incentives through policy. Wholesome Wave’s project is one of many that received support as part of the total $31.5 million granted by USDA in this cycle.

With the award from Wholesome Wave, 4MRMarket continues its groundbreaking incentive programs at its Sunday market in Arlandria. 4MRMarket will match the first $10 of SNAP customers purchases with an additional $10 of tokens to be used exclusively for the purchases of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, 4MRMarket will continue to provide “Double Dollars”, an additional $10 of tokens to match SNAP customers next $10 of purchases, good for use with any SNAP-eligible product. In total, up to $20 in additional funds are available each Sunday to enable more folks to stretch the benefits and still “Buy Fresh, Buy Local”

“We are thrilled to be working with such a diverse and competent group of incentive operators across the nation. This network brings together organizations ranging from a flourishing farmers market group to a large scale nonprofit, capitalizing on the grassroots expertise of community leaders, while also building regional and national impact that allows us to enact the kind of large-scale policy change we see in legislation like FINI,” says Wholesome Wave founder and CEO, Michel Nischan.

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