BALTIMORE, May 30, 2019 — Maryland Hunger Solutions applauds the collaboration between the Prince George’s Food Equity Council, the Maryland Farmers Market Association (MDFMA) and Prince George’s County to expand the MDMFA’s “Maryland Market Money” program.
This market season, the program will be available at four local farmers markets, and low-income residents can receive additional dollars to spend at these markets, making healthy foods more accessible and affordable for food-insecure shoppers in Prince George’s.
The Maryland Market Money program provides matching funding when federal nutrition benefits are spent at participating farmers markets. Federal benefits that qualify for matching funds include the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), known in Maryland as the Food Supplement Program (FSP), the Women’s Infant, and Children Program (WIC) and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program for Seniors (FMNP). According to the Maryland Department of Human Services, there are over 79,000 Prince George’s County residents who depend on FSP to purchase food.
“If you spend $10 on fresh, local food, you get another $10 to spend at the market. It’s the definition of win-win,” said Michael J. Wilson, director, Maryland Hunger Solutions.
In 2018, only one farmers market in the county participated in the program, now, there are four participating markets, located in Riverdale, Greenbelt, Cheverly, and Capitol Heights.
Prince George’s County contributed $105,000 to expand the Maryland Market Money program to additional markets, and MDMFA was able to double the amount that shoppers at participating Prince George’s County markets receive, from $5 to $10 per day.
Maryland Hunger Solutions is a statewide organization working to utilize the federal nutrition programs to address hunger and poverty in the state. MDHS a founding member of the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council, of which Wilson is a former co-chair.
Maryland Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research & Action Center, works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, and well-being of children and families in Maryland.