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August 18, 2022

Initiative promotes eating fresh fruit

The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association launched a
campaign July 1 to encourage local residents who receive food stamp
to use at least $10 of their allotment at local farmers’
markets.
Those who spend $10 off their food stamp cards at selected
farmers market, including the downtown Hollister market, will
receive a bonus $5 in tokens to purchase fresh fruits and
vegetables.
The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association launched a campaign July 1 to encourage local residents who receive food stamp to use at least $10 of their allotment at local farmers’ markets.

Those who spend $10 off their food stamp cards at selected farmers market, including the downtown Hollister market, will receive a bonus $5 in tokens to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.

The FUNDamentally FRESH Campaign is an incentive for food stamp recipients to shop at farmers markets. Its aim is to direct a portion of public assistance dollars to local farmers and connect more people with locally grown fruits and vegetables.

ALBA has organized the campaign and secured $8,500 to start the bonus incentive. The campaign will track the use of food stamps cards in farmers markets and increase access to fresh local foods. ALBA is seeking tax-deductible donations to help sustain the program and it will remain active while supplies last.

Participating markets include the downtown Hollister market, which is open Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., as well as markets in King City, Greenfield, Soledad, Nativdad Medical Center-Salinas, Marina, Pacific Grove, Watsonville, Live Oak and Felton.

“All of our farmers market partners are all tracking sales resulting from the campaign,” said Deborah Yashar, the food systems program manager at ALBA. “We aim to create repeat business for local small farmers and turn more families on to high quality and organic fruits and vegetables.”

ALBA has two small farm business incubators in Salinas and Watsonville. For more information on the farmers market program or on ALBA, call 786-8760, 758-1469 or visit www.albafarmers.org.

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