Real Food, Real Choice: SNAP/EBT Usage at US Farmers Markets
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Capitol Visitors Center, Congressional Meeting Room South in Washington, DC
Moderated by Jasmine Hall Ratliff, MHA, Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Richard McCarthy joins the Community Food Security Coalition and Farmers Market Coalition for a Congressional Briefing coordinated with the Offices of Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Senator Sherrod Brown (OH) to discuss SNAP/EBT Usage at Farmers Markets in the United States.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves over 40 million low-income and disadvantaged Americans by providing them with money for food purchases. Although access to fresh foods is increasing through expansion of Farmers Markets in communities around the nation, SNAP benefits often cannot be used at these markets. The briefing will discuss opportunities and challenges in the use of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) at Farmers Markets.
WHAT is the issue?
Stacy Miller, Executive Director, Farmers Market Coalition
Mrs. Miller will provide an introduction to the newly released report, REAL FOOD, REAL CHOICE: Connecting SNAP Recipients with Farmers Markets, and highlight specific findings as covered in the report’s executive summary.
WHY is this important?
Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas
Dr. Sanchez will address the importance of equitable access to healthy, fresh food for all individuals, and will discuss the issue of EBT redemption at Farmers Markets through a public health lens.
WHO does this affect?
Richard McCarthy, Executive Director, marketumbrella.org, New Orleans
Mr. McCarthy will bring a Farmers Market perspective to the discussion, highlighting successes and barriers in bringing EBT to the market in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Alexandra Ashbrook, Director, DC Hunger Solutions
Mrs. Ashbrook will bring the anti-hunger community and SNAP recipients’ perspectives to the discussion, while highlighting successes and challenges from her work in bringing EBT and other nutrition programs to Farmers Markets in the District of Columbia.
HOW can you help?
Andy Fisher, Executive Director, Community Food Security Coalition
Mr. Fisher will highlight key recommendations to come out of the report, specifically focusing on items that Congress can act on to improve networks between farmers and SNAP recipients.
About the Participating Organizations
The Community Food Security Coalition is a North American coalition of diverse people and organizations working from the local to international levels to build community food security. CFSC catalyzes food systems that are healthy, sustainable, just, and democratic by building community voice and capacity for change.
The Farmers Market Coalition serves a rapidly growing industry with information and representation at state and federal levels. FMC builds networks, links peers, and connects farmers markets old and new with tools and resources for success
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation seeks to improve the health and health care of all Americans. RWJF efforts focus on improving both the health of everyone in America and their health care—how it's delivered, how it's paid for, and how well it does for patients and their families. The foundation creates leverage by building evidence and producing, synthesizing and distributing knowledge, new ideas and expertise; and harnesses the power of partnerships by bringing together key players, collaborating with colleagues, and securing the sustained commitment of other funders and advocates to improve the health and health care of all Americans.
Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Texas, provides financially sound health care coverage to as many Texans as possible. BCBS is committed to building relationships with health care providers across the state and to working alongside local organizations to improve the well-being of those in need. BSBS does so by conducting several community outreach activities in the state of Texas.
marketumbrella.org brings vendors and shoppers together to preserve local culture, generate wealth and support the local economy. Learning, sharing and growing, the nonprofit cultivates the field of public markets for public good.
D.C. Hunger Solutions, founded in 2002 as an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), works to create a hunger-free community and thereby improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income District residents.