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Providing Healthy Food to all, Regardless of Socioeconomic Status

Posted by Iahmed on July 24, 2009

Starting in June, Northwest Detroit Farmers Markets began accepting electronic benefit transfer cards, known as bridge cards.  This has allowed Michigan residents that receive food stamps to now be able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that are not offered at grocery stores.

Dozens of markets across the state have been approved this year to accept food stamps, a total of 29 markets in Michigan alone.  Michigan hosts the largest number of vendors in the Midwest.

Residents like Denise Hicks, who relies on food stamps for her groceries, could only spare a few dollars for fresh fruits and vegetables for her children at the markets before markets accepted food stamp dollars.  Now that Detroit Farmers Markets accepts bridge cards, Hicks can spend her food stamp allocation on fresh produce and save her disposable income for bills, while providing healthier meals for her family.

Record numbers of families crossing the poverty line and are becoming dependent on state welfare. And with the food stamp dollars have a multiplier effect on economic growth; Michigan farmers participating in this movement will benefit, as well as local economies all across the state.

With this growing trend in Michigan, thousands of Michigan households are now able to enjoy locally-grown fresh foods.  This is good news for our state and I urge other markets to follow in other footsteps.

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