Bringing education to farmers, while giving the community more access to local foods

MARYLAND- A program is working with farmers to increase access to healthy foods. The University of Maryland Extension’s SNAP-Ed Program is highlighting a partnership with the Maryland Department of Health and a multi-year grant from the CDC.

SNAP-Ed educators are working one-on-one with farmers to facilitate the acceptance of SNAP and EBT benefits at community markets, CSAs, and farm stands. We’re told with increasing food prices, inflation, and supply chain shortages it’s causing concern for accessing and affording healthy food, especially for underserved populations and those relying on supplemental food assistance benefits. So, now more than ever, it’s important for people to develop ties back to the food system. This is a big reason why University of Maryland Extension Maryland SNAP- Ed is connecting people that are experiencing food insecurity with fresh, local foods.

“We see now prices of groceries rising, so families are trying to do the best they can to do the most with less, and so having many ways to access healthy fresh food is so important for everybody’s health and well being,” Lynn Rubin Traversa, the Statewide Healthy Food Systems Coordinator for MD SNAP-Ed, said.

Another component of the program assists farmers in navigating the SNAP application process and helping them with their physical and digital marketing. Educators work with farmers to come up with digital marketing plans and create a social media presence. This will make farms and their products more accessible by allowing consumers to find where supplemental benefits are accepted.

To learn more about the program or to find a local educator, go to https://extension.umd.edu/programs/family-consumer-sciences/snap-ed.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News