by Erica Lyons
OIFM Board Member
At last estimate, approximately 1,945 individuals are being served by the Orcas Island Food Bank. That is approximately 37% of the official population. Some of those individuals may have to make hard decisions between basic needs, such as housing and medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods for themselves or their families. Basic Food benefits, or SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), work to alleviate this need. Increasing access to nutritionally beneficial homegrown foods is one of the most important things we can do to help our community members in need. We at the Orcas Island Farmers Market are thrilled to announce that we are approved to take SNAP benefits via EBT and P-EBT dollars at our farmers’ market. Families and individuals enrolled in these programs can not only use their dollars at the Farmers Market this summer, they will actually double those dollars with the added Market Match program that we also are participating in for BOTH EBT and P-EBT.
How it works:
• Find the SNAP EBT Information Booth at the Farmers’ Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Saturday.
• Swipe your EBT and/or your P-EBT card for the amount you want to spend out of your benefits accounts.
• You will receive that amount in EBT tokens and the same amount again in SNAP Market Match dollars. Both EBT and P-EBT dollars will be matched!
• Use both currencies to shop for: fresh vegetables, fresh produce, mushrooms, fresh herbs, and plants that produce food.
• Participating vendors will be reimbursed for the full amount, including the match dollars, by our programs.
From May 3-17, the Orcas Island Farmers Market is also participating in the Orcas Island Community Foundation’s Spring GiveOrcas fundraising campaign. Love your local market? Put your money where your market is. Visit our facebook page starting May 3 for more details: www.facebook.com/orcasislandfarmersmarket
The OIFM runs from May to September, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Village Green in Eastsound. The first market is May 1. COVID precautions apply within the market boundaries.