Food stamp recipients in Florida are buying a lot more from farmers and farmers markets.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says expanding access to fresh produce for SNAP recipients has been a top priority.
Redemptions under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly the Food Stamp program, have ballooned since 2008 by more than a thousand percent.
Amy Rupert-Secol is chief vegetable officer at Homegrown, a Central Florida food co-op. She says even more could be done to get low-income families to shop local.
“These folks they might think they can only use their card at regular big box stores like Publix and Walmart to use their card. But it would be great if there was something included that said here are local places to buy local food," she said.
Nationwide, the number of food stamp recipients buying from roadside stands, farmers markets and farmers themselves is exploding.
The USDA says it’s made it a priority to help SNAP recipients use their benefits at farmers markets.