Community Supported Farmers’ Markets
Over the past seven years, Food AND Medicine’s Community Supported Farmers’ Markets (CSFM) program kept more Maine money local by supporting small farmers and providing access to healthy food to those who struggle to feed their families. CSFM offered a generous discount to farmers’ market customers paying with SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) at three Bangor area farmers’ markets. Local farmers still received the full amount for each sale through the program, while SNAP recipients received easier access to fresh, local food.
We believe access to healthy, local food is a right, not a luxury.
Due to a very welcomed increase in federal grant money made available to the farmers’ markets, Food AND Medicine (FAM) has been able to step back from our CSFM program with the 2016 spring season. Discounts and incentives are still provided to SNAP customers through new programs. This change allows Food AND Medicine to focus our fundraising, volunteer and organizing efforts on other programs without reducing the benefits that our CSFM program provided.
We are still very supportive of local farms, and maintain a relationship with the Ohio Street and Brewer Farmers’ Markets by organizing volunteers. Our volunteers are vital to the CSFM program and the large customer base that shop at the markets each week. If you are interested in volunteering at any of the markets, and for any part of the season, you may contact us via email to FAM@foodandmedicine.org or call us at 207-989-5860.
The Ohio Street Farmers’ Market is located in a low income area in Bangor, where the food insecurity level is particularly high. The new SNAP incentive programs provide discounts strictly to fruits and vegetables at the markets. While this is great, we feel it’s also important for SNAP customers to have access to meats and other fresh, local foods available at the markets.
Food AND Medicine offers a discount on non-fruits and vegetables to Ohio Street Farmers’ Market customers of 25% when the SNAP card is used for payment. As with CSFM, the farmers will still receive the full price for their goods through reimbursement from FAM.
To keep this program going, we need YOUR help! By donating to this effort, you are ensuring a healthy future for our neighbors, farmers, and families alike, and for the vitality of our community!