Evansville Farmers Market to accept SNAP payments for first time ever

Evansville Farmers Market to accept SNAP payments for first time ever
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 4:16 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2023 at 5:17 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Evansville Farmer’s Market kicks off the 2023 season on April 29. The market will feature two new changes to how it has looked in years past.

“This will definitely help us connect with an underserved community to get them fresh local food,” said Jason Gerteisen, who manages the market.

This year, they’re changing locations from the Goodwill on South Green River Road to Washington Square Mall due to safety concerns.

They’re also accepting a new form of payment for the first time ever, ‘SNAP.’

“The area we’re in is definitely a food desert,” Gerteisen said. “There is no better way to get food to the community than by the programs that are established by the state.”

With the help of Urban Seeds and Purdue Extension, they’ve created a process to accept SNAP. They’ll have a central hub at the market, where people can exchange SNAP for vouchers.

Those vouchers can be used at participating vendors.

“We’ll have certificates up on each of the vendors’ booths that do accept it, so everyone will know where they can spend their SNAP vouchers out,” Gerteisen said.

In addition to that, through a partnership with Urban Seeds and Healthy Communities, SNAP users will be able to double up.

“So if they spend $10 with SNAP vouchers, that program will give them 10 more dollars to spend on food,” Gerteisen said.

Gerteisen added that the program won’t be ready to showcase during the April market.

“We are in the application process,” Gerteisen said. “We won’t be accepting it this first market in April, but by May, which is also when a lot of their farmers get their harvest in, we will be, hopefully by then, accepting it.”

Gerteisen says he’s excited to showcase locally sourced produce and extend their reach to underserved communities dealing with food insecurity.

“We’ve got a lot of good farms that have great local produce and we want to get that into as many hands as possible,” Gerteisen said.

The Evansville Farmers Market runs the last Saturday of every month until October.