The Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, along with Spartanburg’s Hub City Farmers’ Market (HCFM), Eat Smart Move More South Carolina (ESMMSC), have received $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase the amount of SNAP dollars spent at South Carolina farmers markets. By increasing purchases, the grant aims to support local farmers, economies and public health.
The project organizers will create a business model based on successful increases (i.e., 800%) that have been made in Spartanburg area farmers markets. This model will be implemented in Travelers Rest in Greenville County and James Island in Charleston County. The two markets were chosen because they are located in large population areas where farmers markets currently either do not accept SNAP or seek SNAP users. Staff and board support of using SNAP at farmers markets were also factors in selecting these locations.
At this time only one-third of South Carolina farmers markets accept SNAP, with low participation at the locations that do accept it. “It’s clear that there needs to be specific, concrete examples for farmers markets and customers to help break down these barriers,” said Ms. Carrie Draper, Nutrition Center director of policy and partnership development. “I think this work will help create better informed markets and increased access to these important community spaces for South Carolinians who shop with SNAP.”
Read more: http://www.sph.sc.edu/news/snap_grant.html