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Maine Farmland Trust is helping low-income shoppers stretch their winter food budgets with an extra bonus this month through their Maine Harvest Bucks program. The nonprofit is encouraging shoppers to stock up on local produce from select local food stores around the state during the bountiful season.
Maine Harvest Bucks is an incentive program that provides monetary bonuses for low-income shoppers to buy more local fruits and vegetables. During Store-Up September, shoppers buying food with SNAP/EBT (previously known as food stamps) can double their dollars at select retail stores: for every $10 spent on local foods, they’ll receive another $10 to spend on local fruits and vegetables. This program supports local farmers, increases access to healthy food for low-income shoppers, and builds community connections.
September is one of Maine’s best months for fresh produce, with plenty of tomatoes, melons, peppers, basil, cucumbers, and more. Many of these products are great for canning, pickling, or freezing. Maine Farmland Trust is hoping shoppers will take advantage of the season’s bounty and store up on goods to eat local and stretch food budgets all year long.
Maine Harvest Bucks incentives are also available at farmers’ markets, food hubs, CSAs, and farm stands around the state. For a full list of participating markets (including a map to find them near you), visit maineharvestbucks.org.
Stores participating in Store-Up September include: the Belfast Co-op, Blue Hill Co-op, Good Tern Co-op, Machias Marketplace, Morris Farm Store, Portland Food Co-op, Rising Tide Community Market, and The Farm Stand.
Contact Shannon Grimes for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-338-6575.
photography by Jenny Nelson