State and Officials Join in Congratulating Market for Success in Reaching Low-Income Shoppers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jen Adach, email@example.com, (202) 986-2200 x3018
Baltimore, Md. – September 10, 2011 – With its successful electronic benefit (EBT) program in place, the Waverly/32nd Street Farmers’ Market is making healthy food accessible to low-income residents by accepting Food Supplement Program benefits. USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon, Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Earl “Buddy” Hance, and the Maryland Department of Human Resources Family Investment Director Rosemary Malone visited the Waverly/32nd Street Farmers’ Market to see its program in action and commend the market for its success.
USDA FNS Under Secretary Concannon speaking at Waverly/ 32nd Street Farmers’ Market. Looking on are (left to right) Rosemary Malone, Director of FIA, Maryland Department of Human Resources; Secretary Earl “Buddy” Hance, Maryland Department of Agriculture, and Marc Rey, Market Manager, Secretary Concannon, and Cathy Demeroto, Director of Maryland Hunger Solutions.
Since its start in summer 2010, the EBT project – sponsored by Maryland Hunger Solutions – has expanded from the original three (Waverly, Park Heights, and Highlandtown) to now include seven markets that accept Food Supplement Program benefits. With support from Wholesome Wave, the project takes another step to close the food gap for low-income shoppers by offering customers using their EBT cards up to $5 of matching funds to spend at the market through Baltimore Bucks.
The program has been a success – both for the community and for local farmers. So far 2011 has seen $10,087 in total EBT sales at the Waverly Farmers’ Market, with 76 new customers redeeming their benefits at the market.
Other city leaders joined Concannon in congratulating the market, including Delegate Mary Washington and Baltimore City Food Policy Director Holly Freishtat.
“Farmers’ markets are one way to ensure that communities have access to fresh and local produce, and we’re hoping that even more markets in the city will continue to follow in the path set by Waverly/32nd Street,” said Maryland Hunger Solutions Director Cathy Demeroto. “By accepting Food Supplement Program benefits, Waverly is making fresh produce accessible and affordable to everyone in the community.”
“Wholesome Wave is pleased to continue funding Maryland Hunger Solutions’ expanding program that increases the buying power of SNAP customers,” said Gus Schumacher, Executive Vice President of Wholesome Wave . “It’s a win-win. Not only do underserved populations benefit by adding locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to their diets but farmers benefit from the growing sales to a new customer base.”
Visit the Farmers’ Market section of Maryland Hunger Solutions’ website for more information about the EBT project and a list of markets in Baltimore that accept Food Supplement Program benefits. visit
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Maryland Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center, is the lead research, public education, and advocacy group in Maryland dedicated to using public programs to end hunger in Maryland. Maryland Hunger Solutions is sponsoring a total of seven farmers’ markets in Baltimore City for the EBT project.
The EBT project was made possible through generous funding from the Abell Foundation, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and Wholesome Wave.
Wholesome Wave is dedicated to nourishing neighborhoods by supporting increased production and access to healthy, fresh, and affordable locally grown food. Wholesome Wave achieves success through partnership-based programs that serve historically excluded urban and rural communities by creating strong, lasting connections between these neighborhoods and small to midsized farms.