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3 new farmers markets that accept SNAP, HIP, and farmers market coupons launched in Fall River this week

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The Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership and Mass in Motion Fall River have launched 3 farmers markets in Fall River to help residents access affordable, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. These 3 community markets are unique in the city because the participating farms are certified to accept payment with SNAP (EBT) cards, and because SNAP households can utilize their Healthy Incentives Program funds.

SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a nationwide program that provides financial assistance for food purchases. HIP is a Massachusetts initiative providing extra SNAP dollars for locally-grown food. SNAP households can use HIP to buy fruits and vegetables at HIP certified farmers markets. According to SEMAP, households of 1-2 people have an extra $40/month, households of 3-5 people have an extra $60/month, and households of 6 or more people have an extra $80/month for farm fresh produce through HIP.

In addition to using SNAP or HIP to pay for produce, customers at the 3 markets can also pay with cash, credit cards, and farmers market coupons that are offered to WIC families and seniors. More information about the WIC program is available by calling 508-679 8111 ( http://www.healthfirstfr.org/services/fall-river-wic-program/ ) Information about farmers market coupons for seniors is available by calling Jen at the Fall River Council on Aging: 508-324-2400.

All 3 markets are outdoors, open to the public, and will run from June to October. The dates, times, and locations are:

Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saint Anne’s Hospital, 795 Middle Street

Wednesdays 2 to 5 p.m., HealthFirst Family Care Center, 387 Quarry Street

Fridays 2 to 5 p.m., Cardinal Medeiros Towers, 1197 Robeson Street

All three markets began this week.

SEMAP states that Laura Smith, of Dighton’s Lane Gardens and Oakdale Farms Country Barn in Rehoboth, is the primary farmer at these markets. Later in the season she will be joined by C&M Farm. These farms supply fruits such as strawberries in June, blueberries in July and watermelon in August. Popular vegetables include lettuce and spinach early in the season, tomatoes, corn, green beans and peppers ripening mid-summer, and many other staples.

“I’m excited to continue increasing access to healthy food that they may have trouble affording otherwise,” said Smith. “People consistently shopped at our popup markets throughout the pandemic last year. That shows how essential local food and farmers markets are.”

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