Double Up Food BUCKS
Bridge CArd / SNAP / EBT
Twenty-five separate businesses at the market accept SNAP Electronic Food Benefits (Bridge Card). In 2011, the market piloted an incentive program, Double Up Food Bucks, which allows Bridge Card patrons to double the value of their purchases (up to $20 per market visit) at the Flint Farmers’ Market, and use their rewards to obtain Michigan grown fruits or vegetables. “Double Up Food Bucks is a state wide program involving over 50 Michigan farmers’ markets. Our unique contribution in Flint involves technology. While vendors at every other market have to accept and manage wooden or metal tokens, customers at our market possess DUFB rewards cards and vendors process the cards using wireless machines and smart phones. By 2012, the program will be fully implemented at our market, and we expect to provide a successful model for other markets as electronic access becomes available at farmers’ markets nationwide.
Through a grant from the Ruth Mott Foundation, the market partnered with Michigan State Extension and the Genesee Intermediate School District to combine nutritional education with supplemental SNAP benefits during the summer of 2010. This pilot program proved extremely successful and will be reintroduced a the Flint Farmers’ Market in 2012.
Federal assistance program providing seniors and low income parents – particularly breast feeding mothers – with coupons to buy fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables during the Michigan growing season. Five years ago, we were one of the first in the state to provide Project FRESH Orientation at our market. Our orientation has now grown to a five week session which includes over 20 partnering Genesee County social service agencies. Given the extreme financial difficulties faced by many families in Genesee County, we believe this information and assistance outreach is the least we can do.
We actively partner with and support this diverse and talented community gardens organization. Beautiful naturally grown produce from their co-op gardens is available at the market on Thursdays and Saturdays, July -October.
Mr. Rogers Garden Project, Kings Karate-Ka Program (Harvesting Earth Educational Farm) and Sanilac FFA
Ten years from now, it will not be unusual to see hoop houses and high tunnels dotting the Genesee County landscape, both inside and outside the city. Michigan farmers will be growing produce year round and Michigan consumers will be eating healthier products, more of which will be locally grown. Right now, the pioneers of this movement in our area are local youth initiatives, and the market is proud to be one of their first and most avid supporters. Mr. Rogers and King’s Karate-Ka focus on gardening and business skills for at-risk young people within Genesee County. The Sanilac FFA serves young people in the area of the Thumb. All three programs have received federal grants to build hoop houses, and the market provides them with rent free space at which to sell their products. Supporting these programs is another way the market is working to encourage the youth of our community and small local producers of year round healthy food.
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
An opportunity partnership: for the past year the market, in partnership with the Food Bank, has provided customers with the opportunity to sign-up for a Bridge Card. Ownership of a Bridge Card has created the opportunity to obtain a Double Up Bucks Card, which in turn has created the opportunity to obtain free and fresh local produce at the market. The reward for market customers: free produce, better health, and better eating. For more information go to www.fbem.org
Flint River Farm and Green Stewards
The first two urban farms in Flint. Both have hoop houses, both are committed to year round production, and both, although they cannot be certified as organic, grow their products pesticide free. They, too, are pioneers in the local food movement in and around Genesee County.
School Tours Year Round
Students from pre-school to university age visit the market to talk with vendors, explore the market, and learn more about the food they eat.
American Culinary Federation & Mott College Culinary
Arts students: we are committed to helping our customers learn to prepare the food they buy at the market. To fulfill this commitment, cooking demonstrations by ACF chefs occur all year .
GISD (Genesee Intermediate School District) and MSU Extension
Another dimension of our commitment to education. We provide space for GISD and MSU nutrition classes, particularly for low income families. MSU Master Gardeners are also on site at the market giving tips and answering questions every Saturday mid-April through mid-November.
Keep Genesee County Beautiful
The market is one of this group’s original members and a destination location for KGCB beautification.
Genesee County Land Bank
One of the market’s major partners. Both are committed to the sustainable reuse of vacant city and county properties.
Hurley Medical Center
Site of a satellite market on Wednesdays during the summer and a partner in cooking demonstrations throughout the year.
STATE and NATION
We are a member of MIFMA (Michigan Farm Market Association) and a leading participant in the effort to extend SNAP benefits to farmers’ markets statewide. We are also one of the original members of the Food Based Community Collaborative, a group working to develop an organized local food production and distribution system within the Genesee, Shiawassee, Saginaw, Tuscola, Lapeer and Oakland county food shed.
[Gallery not found]