A month of being thankful and updated partner map

As we head full throttle into the holiday season, November is the perfect month to be thankful – before the crazed month of December, the short frenetic shopping season, and the consolidated holidays this year.

We at Eat Fresh Maryland are thankful for our partners – without whom none of this work would have ever come to fruition.  Through their collaboration, cooperation, and willingness to increase food access in Maryland we have been able to achieve remarkable gains in getting good foods into the hands of more Marylanders.

Here is an updated map of our more than 30 stakeholders, who represent different types of organizations – proving that all can join together to help those in need.

Happy Thanksgiving & Hanukkah!

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Next week: 4th Annual Maryland Food Stamp Challenge

4th Annual Maryland Food Stamp Challenge, starting Monday, October 21 and running through Sunday, October 27. People who accept the challenge live on the average weekly budget for a food stamp recipient in Maryland, which is $30 for the week. More than 1 in 8 Marylanders struggle with food insecurity, and Food Stamps are a critical resource for these low-income households. The Food Stamp Challenge highlights just some of the struggles many Marylanders face trying to put adequate food on the table with limited income and supports. While living on a food stamp budget for just a week cannot come close to the challenges encountered by low-income families every day, it serves as a platform for education, empathy, and action.

Coordinated by Maryland Hunger Solutions, challengers can register on this website: http://bit.ly/16RHSwM.

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Registration Now Open for MFANN Fighting Hunger in MD Conference

Registration is now open for the Maryland Food Access and Nutrition Network’s (MFANN) 3rd Annual Fighting Hunger in Maryland Conference.

This year’s theme is Feeding Change and it will be held on October 10, 2013 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Campus Center .

You can find more information on the schedule for the day here: 2013 conference agenda (pdf).

And you can register here: MFANN Fighting Hunger in Maryland Conference (sponsored by Maryland Hunger Solutions).

 

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Baltimore EBT Coordinator Position Filled

Thank you all for your interest in this position helping to increase access at Baltimore City farmers markets. We are grateful for the quick response and are happy to have met many more people passionate about farmers markets! Please continue to support your local farmers markets by shopping!

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Job Opening: Baltimore Farmers Market EBT Coordinator

Eat Fresh Maryland is hiring! There is an immediate opening for a half-time contract position (September 1- November 30) to operate EBT and Baltimore Bucks at three daytime Baltimore farmers markets.  Here is the job description: EBT Market Coordinator Position.

The ideal candidate will have an interest in local food systems and expanding access to locally grown foods, be excited about spending time at area farmers markets, and be able to work independently with minimal day-to-day supervision. The position offers valuable on-the-ground experience operating food access programming and working closely with local leadership in the food access movement; please forward widely within your networks to anyone who may be interested.

Applications accepted immediately until position is filled. For more information or to apply, please send resume, cover letter, and 3 references to Michele Levy (mlevy @crossroadscommunityfoodnetwork.org).

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Riverdale Park Farmers Market launches SNAP-EBT token program today

The Riverdale Park Farmers Market, located at 4650 Queensbury Road, is launching their token program today.  Open from 3:00 – 7:00pm, there will be a wide variety of items available for purchase from local farmers and producers – from ice cream to pickles and everything in between.

The new token program will mean that the market can now accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) Independence Cards, as well as credit and debit cards.  These forms of payment can be accepted at the market tent where participants will receive wooden tokens to redeem for eligible foods with market vendors.  If market shoppers have federal nutrition benefits – FMNP, FVC, or SNAP – these will also be matched with Maryland Market Money.

Maryland Market Money is a matching incentive for shoppers spending Farmers market Nutrition Program (FMNP), EBT/SNAP or WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks (FVC) at participating farmers’ markets.  By offering this match, Maryland Market Money draws new low-income shoppers to partner markets, stretches their food budgets to afford more healthy items, and provides additional revenue to farmers and vendors at farmers markets.

These extra vouchers are being provided thanks to a CDC grant through the Institute for Public Health Innovation.

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Deadline Approaching: Funding for SNAP-EBT Wireless Technology (Markets OR Farmers)

The deadline to apply to the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) for funding to cover the costs of an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) wireless machines and service fees to be able to accept SNAP is August 15th.

The funding, provided by USDA to increase the acceptance of SNAP at farmers markets, is available to both markets and farmers.

The 2013 Application Forms can be found here:

Here is a step-by-step guide to accessing the funding, including links to the necessary forms and guidelines: 2013 Timeline for Market Managers to Access EBT Funding.

You can also find all of the 2013 forms on this site here: 2013 EBT-SNAP Funding Forms.

If you would like help with the application process, please contact us as soon as possible.

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Suitland Farmers Market launches SNAP-EBT token program today

The Suitland Farmers Market, located at 4500 Suitland Road, is launching their token program today.  Open from 3:00 – 7:00pm, there will be a variety of items available for purchase from local farmers and producers.

The market will accept SNAP, credit & debit cards through a market-wide token system similar to those that have been implemented throughout the state.  There will also be an incentive program that provides up to $10 in matching Maryland Market Money.

Maryland Market Money is a matching “incentive” for shoppers spending EBT/SNAP or WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks (FVC) at participating farmers’ markets.  By offering this match, Maryland Market Money draws new low-income shoppers to partner markets, stretches their food budgets to afford more healthy items, and provides additional revenue to farmers and vendors at farmers markets.

At market, shoppers get a match of up to $10 in paper Maryland Market Money vouchers when they use their SNAP-EBT, FMNP or WIC Fruit and Vegetable checks at market by visiting the central market table.  Shoppers then spend the Maryland Market Money with market vendors for approved items, and vendors turn in the paper vouchers for a reimbursement along with EBT and debit tokens at the end of the market day.

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Maryland Buy Local Challenge Week!

The Maryland Buy Local Challenge Week – the last full week in July when you can pledge to eat at least one local thing from one local farm every day – starts on July 20th and goes through July 28th this year.

Sign up to take the pledge: Buy Local Challenge and be sure to get to your farmers market – an easy place to find delicious locally produced food.  Not sure what to do with that produce? Here you can find recipe books and more information on buying local: MDA Buy Local page.

Not sure where your closest market is?  Here’s a handy map for you to check by zooming in or typing in your address in the search box: 2013 Farmers Market Map.

 

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Updated Toolkit on Accepting Federal Nutrition Benefits at Farmers Markets

Not sure of all the federal nutrition benefit programs that could be accepted at your farmers market?  A little confused about “WIC” and SNAP and how they work at farmers markets? Want to expand your customer base and ensure that there is access for all to the fresh local healthy foods that your farmers and producers provide at the market?

Well then you should start here.  Maryland Hunger Solutions first put together this a few years ago, and it was a helpful consolidation of the information for handy reference.  This year they have updated the guide with the most current information, so you can be sure that all of the contacts and details for running these programs at market is included and accurate.

Accepting Federal Nutrition Benefits at Maryland Farmers Markets” is the definitive guide to implementing FMNP, FVC, and SNAP at Maryland farmers markets and expanding the customer base at your local farmers market.

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