NC Gets Grant to Expand Food Stamps to Farmers Markets

May 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm 3 comments

The federal government is giving states grants to expand the ability of farmers to accept payments using the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps. North Carolina is slated to receive $109,631.

The aim is to help low-income families more easily access healthy, fresh foods. Since 2008, SNAP expenditures at farmers markets has increased 400 percent. But in North Carolina, only three of the vendors at the state farmers market in Raleigh currently accept EBT payments.

Access to healthy foods is severely lacking in low-income areas. Low-income census tracts are half as likely to have a full-service supermarket, compared to wealthy census tracts. In addition, communities without access to supermarkets have the highest obesity rates.

In many of North Carolina’s counties, the obesity rate is upwards of 30 percent of adults, as shown in the map below.  As communities struggle to recover from the recession, many families are still relying on food assistance. The average monthly participation in SNAP increased by 18 percent in this state between 2009 and 2010.

Expanding access to healthy foods, particularly for low-income individuals and families, is necessary if we want to create healthy communities. More targeted initiatives such as this are needed. This is not only a matter of our nation and state’s health, but also a matter of justice. Healthy people create healthy economies, and all of our citizens should have the opportunity to live healthfully.


Entry filed under: Economic Development, Healthy Foods. Tags: , .

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  • 1. L J Reuben  |  May 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    This is an important initiative that should redound to the benefit of consumers and farmers alike in this age of electronic commerce.

  • 2. Grant  |  May 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Unfortunately there is no information on how NC plans to distribute these funds. Will the money flow to Raleigh, or will it be spent only in Tier 1 or 2 counties?

  • 3. pushthedumpfatbutton  |  May 14, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Reblogged this on Pushthedumpfatbutton/weightloss/Living healthier/Exercise/Gettingthepoundsoff.


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