Boulder County Farmers Markets
It’s no secret that food at the farmers market can be expensive. We believe food that supports our local environment, the people who grow it and our health is well worth it.
But we also know that everyone deserves access to this food, even if financial barriers might make it difficult to pay full price.
We are proud to have multiple methods of payment and programs at our markets that make our farmers’ goods more financially accessible to everyone. Our SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks initiatives do just that.
SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a federal program designed to provide food purchasing assistance. These SNAP benefits can be redeemed at many grocery stores and convenience stores and at the farmers market.
And we may be biased, but we think spending these benefits at a marketplace built around local food and community provides the best value and experience.
Through our Food Access programs, we are proud to serve 15,000 people using WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and SNAP at markets and through our WIC community-supported agriculture delivery every week.
One of our beloved market customers offered to share a bit about her shopping experience at our market, both online and on street, and how she benefits from access to fresh local produce. We are excited to share her words with you and hope to continue ensuring our market is accessible for everyone:
“I believe our health is our true wealth. BCFM offers great value and benefits for everyone. I have lived in Boulder since the late ’70s and have always loved the farmers market, because it reminds me of European open markets.
“The two ways that I use my SNAP/EBT card benefits for maximum value at the BCFM are:
“First, by ordering on their website Sunday morning 8 am for a drive-up pickup in Boulder on Wednesday (4:30 to 6:30 pm), which is conveniently located near the farmers market in Boulder.
“This brings me to the second EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card benefit value: I can head over to the BCFM info booth at the Boulder Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays and have $20 taken from my EBT card balance for $40 worth of coupons — half are SNAP coupons (used for all food except alcohol and prepared meals) and half Double Up Food Buck coupons (used for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables).
“Then I go shopping at the market, where each vendor has displayed which coupons they will accept. Because of the multiple opportunities to use these benefits on Wednesdays and Saturdays, I only buy what I will use for the next few days, and have zero waste. Win-win.
“All the vendors are wonderful, and they understand what it takes to work the land. It is humble and so rewarding. I have always enjoyed making healthy, wholesome meals for myself and others. Putting love into the land and each fresh ingredient helps everyone and everything to thrive. When the land is respected and cared for, it yields tenfold.
“I walked down to BCFM last week and had a wonderful conversation with Kyle Monroe (of Monroe Organic Farms), and he touched my heart with his love of farming, taking over the kidneys from his father, and continuing to practice respect for the Earth and trust that all is working out for the greater good. He has deep respect for his heritage. It gives me great hope that we will continue to make this a better world for all.
“Stay strong and remember to eat your fresh, local vegetables!”
There are always bilingual staff at our info booth to guide folks through the different payment methods at our markets. Our vendors are all trained on the different types of currency that they can accept. At the end of the day — from farmers to bakers to ranchers — our community is focused on getting the best local food distributed to as many people as possible.
Vendors, staff and customers are all an essential part of our local food ecosystem. The feeling of mutual appreciation and abundance is palpable.
Sound too good to be true? You’ll just have to visit us in Longmont, Boulder, or online (bcfm.org) to see for yourself.