The picture above is what I was able to purchase with one day worth of SNAP money for a family of four with the assistance of Wholesome Wave Georgia, doubling my SNAP benefits at participating farmer's markets. While this benefit is not available at every farmer's market in Georgia, they have partnerships with 13 locations, including the one in my town.
The total cost of this food was $37. Thanks to Wholesome Wave, the cost to a family on food stamps would be $18.50... approximately one-day worth of SNAP money for my family.
When I cooked it, it provided approximately 12 family meals worth of greens and veggies. Wholesome Wave benefits made the difference between what felt expensive and what was a deal.
The surprise for me was that I was not familiar with probably a third of the veggies and greens at the market. Many Asian varieties were offered that I had never seen or heard of. It begs the question:
Even if it is cheap, even if it is organic, if people don't know what it is or what to do with it, will they buy it? A humble farmer's market became an intimidating experience very quickly.
As well, more than half the market was not farmers but start-up food entrepreneurs selling baked goods, pies, salsas, cookies, doggie treats and more. Is it helpful to the health effort when pre-made goods are sold at the farmer's market? Not sure we can answer that one yet.
The complexities of our food system are revealing themselves...