Expanded SNAP benefits offered at Augusta County farmers' markets

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Two farmers' markets in Augusta County are offering expanded SNAP benefits to people who come and buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

Project GROWS operates the North Augusta Farmers' Market and the Waynesboro Farmers' Market. Megan Townley, food access coordinator for Project GROWS, said people could already use SNAP benefits at the markets, and Project GROWS matched the funds they spent.

Now, Virginia Fresh Match is doing the matching for spending, and Project GROWS is able to offer more incentives for people to shop at the markets.

Townley said it's important to them to be able to help provide low income families with access to fresh fruits and vegetables. She said while shopping at a farmers' market may be more expensive, the food is fresher and more local. The program aims to help people to stretch their money a little further.

"With the matching, they can spend more on fresh fruits and vegetables, and it also goes right back into the community," Townley said. "The farmers benefit significantly from this program."

Townley said if people spend $10 through SNAP, they get an additional $10 through the match to spend on fruits and vegetables. Project GROWS is also adding an additional $5 bonus that can be spent on anything that is eligible for SNAP.

The North Augusta Farmers' Market is open every Wednesday, now through Oct. 30 from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Wanyesboro Farmer's Market is every Saturday, from May 4 to Sept. 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.