More than 30 local businesses team up to create a more inclusive farmers market
[Somerville, MA, June 14, 2018] Good Food for All is a week-long, community campaign debuting throughout Union Square June 23-30. More than 30 local businesses have teamed up to raise awareness and funds for the local SNAP match available at the Union Square Farmers Market.
Since 2005, Union Square Main Streets (USMS) has raised money to match SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the successor to Food Stamps) dollars, making it possible for more eligible households to participate in their farmers market. This year, USMS is turning to the public to expand local support for the program with Good Food For All the last week in June.
“We know that SNAP recipients often find fresh, local food at farmers markets unaccessible,” said Jessica Eshleman, executive director of Union Square Main Streets. “We also know that Somerville stands strong with values of inclusion and community and that residents and visitors love the locally-owned, diverse businesses found here. We’re excited to seize this opportunity to urge the public to frequent participating businesses to help keep our farmers market inclusive.”
How does it work?
1 Call a friend, make a date, or venture solo in Union Square between June 23-30
2 Shop, dine, or play at any of the 30+ participating local businesses
3 Purchase their featured item or promotion (details at www.unionsquaremain.org)
4 Enjoy Union Square, know you are making a difference for your neighbors
5 Participating businesses then donate proceeds to match SNAP items
6 Every week throughout the market season, SNAP customers receive a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $10, for healthy, fresh, local food at the Union Square Farmers Market.
Local businesses were quick to sign on knowing that the program will have a positive impact on its community and neighbors. “It’s rare to find a program like this, where the money is raised locally, for local beneficiaries, to be spent on local food from other local vendors,”said Ronn Friedlander, co-founder of Aeronaut Brewing Co. “Good Food For All is a great opportunity to increase access to healthy, farmers market food right here in Union Square. How could we not be a part of that?”
Individual donations to the local SNAP match at www.unionsquaremain.org are also encouraged to help meet this year’s fundraising goal of $5,000. Donations are tax deductible and make possible these outcomes:
• $10 = one SNAP match for one family
• $40 = SNAP match benefits for one family for one month
• $100 = one SNAP match for ten families
• $200 = all the SNAP match funds for one Saturday farmers market
Between 2000 and 2016, the poverty rate in Somerville grew from 12.5% to 17%, resulting in children living below the poverty level at 19%. With rising housing costs and federal budget cuts, it has become increasingly difficult for families to be able to afford healthy farmers market products. Because of the generosity of residents and businesses, since 2005, USMS has provided over $13,000 matching SNAP-payments to help hundreds of our neighbors eat good, fresh, locally-grown food.
Participating Businesses include:
Aeronaut Brewing Co.
Cantina la Mexicana
Casa B Tapas and Cocktail & Rum Bar
El Potro Mexican Grill
Field & Vine
Gracie’s Ice Cream
J.J. Sullivan Plumbing & Heating
Loyal Supply Co.
Off the Beaten Path Food Tours
Open Space Community Acupuncture
The Comedy Studio
The Juice Union
Thunder Road Club
Union Square Beer & Wine
Union Square Main Streets
Why the long face? game
Workbar Union Square
About Union Square Main Streets, Inc.:
Union Square Main Streets works collaboratively to actively support a vibrant neighborhood by preserving the character and advancing the economic strength of the Union Square business district and community. By highlighting the artistic and ethnic strengths of the neighborhood, we seek to drive commercial and economic development. We celebrate food – local and international, our own eclectic creative sensibilities, and the dense, unique fabric of our New England square that blossomed before there was such a thing as smart growth. More information is available at www.unionsquaremain.org