News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Farmer’s Market seeks local sponsors

Sisters Farmers Market is seeking local sponsors to support three new developments to the market: the return of musical performances, two new community partner booths, and incorporation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

With the return of live music, there is an opportunity to sponsor the weekly artists for promotion of an on-stage banner all season long. There will also be two new rotating booths at the market — the nonprofit and community partner booth, and the health and wellness booth — both of which will provide educational opportunities and information for the public. Funding will also go toward supporting community outreach about nutrition benefit programs coming to the market this summer, such as SNAP.

Market Manager Caroline Hager notes that, “Pre-COVID, Oregon’s general population food insecurity rate reflected that one in 10 Oregonians were struggling to put food on the table. Currently, one in four Oregonians are food insecure.”

That’s where SNAP comes in. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides nutritional assistance benefits to children and families, the elderly, the disabled, unemployed, and working families. Benefits are issued each month on a plastic electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, in Oregon known as the Oregon Trail card. Over 900,000 Oregonians receive SNAP benefits, a number that increased in 2020 by almost 50 percent due to COVID-19.

“Many farmers markets in Oregon accept EBT cards so people can use their SNAP benefits to make market shopping easier and more affordable. However, less than one percent of benefits are spent at farmers markets or farm stands,” Hager reported.

Sisters Farmers Market will begin accepting SNAP this season to provide Central Oregon residents another option for accessing fresh, affordable foods.

“Oregon is fortunate to have statewide funding available for markets through Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), a matching program administered by the Farmers Market Fund,” Hager said. “DUFB allows Sisters Farmers Market customers who spend $10 of SNAP dollars an additional $10 to buy more locally grown fruits and vegetables. On top of benefitting shoppers, these programs help local economic activity, further supporting our local producers and farmers.”

In order to get the word out about the new programming, Sisters Farmers Market is seeking sponsors who are willing to contribute funding in return for promotion throughout the season. Interested local businesses and individuals are invited to learn more at www.sistersfarmersmarket.com/sponsor-the-market, or by contacting Hager at [email protected]

 

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