We all know the importance of good nutrition, and we all know that low-income folks find it especially challenging to afford items like fresh vegetables.
On a recent trip to the South Portland Farmers Market, I was very disappointed to discover that the market still does not accept SNAP (commonly known as Food Stamps). Patrons have been asking for this ever since the market started in 2011, and it’s unclear why it still hasn’t been implemented.
I’ve spoken with several of the farmers at the market. They stated that they would like to be able to accept SNAP and that they often have to turn away SNAP customers. Some of those customers, most of whom are South Portland residents, end up going to the Portland Farmers Market, which gladly accepts SNAP, while many more of them give up on farmers’ markets altogether and buy lesser-quality imported produce at the supermarket. Our local farmers and our local residents both suffer under that scenario.
I urge the South Portland City Council to discuss this issue and do what it takes to make our wonderful farmers market accessible to all who wish to shop there.