In 2013, the USDA estimated that 15% of Oregonians were food insecure and struggling to provide food for everyone in their household. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP program (previously known as food stamps) offers food assistance to low-income individuals and families. More than 750,000 Oregonians receive SNAP benefits on average each month – and benefit spending contributes more that $1.2 billion to Oregon’s economy each year.
OCFSN is interested in increasing low-income families’ access to fresh, local foods, and in leveraging SNAP spending to support local economies. A number of organizations have offered SNAP Match Incentives in farmers’ markets or at farm stands – providing a 1:1 match (up to a limit of $5, $10, or more) to double the purchasing power of SNAP benefit spending. However, such programs are available at only about half of all markets and often unable to meet expressed needs.
The OCFSN SNAP Match Incentive Working group will be using data from the Farmers’ Market Fund Double Up Food Bucks program (implemented in 17 counties) and other sources to document program benefits (social and economic) and identify and quantify unmet needs. The group has a goal of expanding programming to all Oregon farmers’ markets and to rural grocery stores in areas with poor food access, and fully matching the approximately $900,000 in SNAP benefits being redeemed in Oregon farmers markets each year.
Farmers Market Fund
Marion-Polk Food Share
Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon
PCC Rock Creek Learning Garden
Oregon Farmers’ Market Association
Oregon Food Bank
Oregon Public Health Institute
Oregon State Extension
Willamette Farm and Food Coalition
Team Chair and Contact
Program Manager, Farmers’ Market Fund