Food Stamps Go Organic

By Sajid Farooq
|  Monday, Aug 2, 2010  |  Updated 1:23 PM PDT
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Creme Brulee on the Move Around SF

Apples at the Healdsburg Farmer's Market. Photo: Todd Mundt on Flickr

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There was much outrage in March when Salon.com exposed hipsters who dared to use food stamps to buy organic food.

Now one Bay Area group is encouraging low-income residents to use their government subsidies to not only eat organic but to eat local as well.

Members of the government run Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program are using the Healdsburg and Petaluma Farmers Markets as a trial run to encourage food stamp recipients to shop at their local farmer's markets, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Since the program started in May, the Healdsburg market says it has seen about two to three food stamp users a week spending some of their average $288 a month allowance there. That's not only good for their bodies but also for local farmers, who add a few new customers.

The program is simple enough. Food stamp users simply swipe their EBT cards with the farmer's market manager and they are given tokens to buy what they want from the market. The farmer's are then given a cash reimbursement at the end of the day for the tokens.

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