Jackson Farmers' Market Gets Grant to Take Food Stamps

Brittany Patterson

JACKSON, Tenn. - Growers and producers at the West Tennessee Farmers' Market say most of their customers are regulars. However, a newly received grant could help bring in new customers.

The West Tennessee Farmers' Market was selected by the Agricultural Marketing Service to receive federal funding to enable food stamp recipients to use their allocation to purchase locally grown food products.

Customers will bring their verification cards to the market office to have them swiped. They will then be given tokens to take to vendors to buy their produce. Vendors will be reimbursed at the market office.

Area farmers tell us they're hopeful the new system will bring new business.

"We all hope it's going to improve the sales, and I think it will," said farmer Freddy Johnson. "And improve the market. If you get more sales, you're going to get more vendors coming in, too. So, it's got to help the market."

They also hope more people will be able to chose fresh, locally grown produce as a healthy and inexpensive option.

Among other things, the money from the grant will be used to buy tokens, a swiping machine and provide training for vendors. The program will begin next growing season.


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