The Rochester Farmers’ Market has just concluded its seventh season at the Rochester Common. The market welcomed many new and returning vendors and enjoyed a variety of fresh produce, baked goods, meats, and artisan craft items.
Through a collaboration with Seacoast Eat Local (part of the NH Nutrition Incentive Network), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, allows recipients to use their EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card to purchase healthy, fresh, and locally produced food at farmers’ markets and farm stands. SNAP recipients can purchase vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy products, honey, bread, baked products, and even seeds or seedlings for food-producing plants.
This 2022 summer season, Seacoast Eat Local matched all SNAP purchases at the rate of 1:1 thanks to Granite State Market Match. What this means is for every $1 spent on SNAP, a recipient will receive $1 in fruit and vegetable coupons to spend at the farmers’ market. According to data collected and analyzed by Seacoast Eat Local, 55 unique SNAP customers charged $2,269 to their EBT cards and redeemed $1,468 at the Rochester market (65% redemption rate). $2,309 in Granite State Market Match vouchers were distributed and 88% of those ($2,027) were redeemed at the market.
Once again, Vouchers for Veterans offered $20 vouchers to purchase locally grown and prepared foods directly from farmers and growers to veterans in recognition and gratitude for their service. This year, 2,976 vouchers were distributed valuing $14,880. 75% of those vouchers were redeemed; those not redeemed are eligible to be used at select winter markets in the Seacoast area.
According to Market Manager Kat Lindemann, “the market this year was highly successful, despite challenges with the weather, and we look forward to next year’s market being even better.”
The Rochester Farmers’ Market is seeking input from attendees about the market. Your feedback is important as we consider improvements for next year! Please complete the survey found here: https://forms.gle/RvGRZTSMMPz7oLmK8. The survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.