Grant helps expand use of food stamps at farmers markets
Nutrition • Programs seek to get make healthy food accessible to low-income groups.
Published: July 9, 2014 06:34PM
Updated: July 9, 2014 10:50PM
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Lennie Mahler | Tribune file photo Vendors sell fruit at the 2011 Downtown Farmers Market. One of the best places to "eat local."

This summer, 19 farmers markets in Utah will be accepting food stamps — seven of them for the first time.

Customers can use Horizon cards, a debit-like card through which food stamps are dispersed, to buy locally produced fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs.

Utahns Against Hunger has recruited five of the new markets using a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant through the Utah Department of Workforce Services. The newcomers include the Roosevelt Farmers Market, Provo City Farmers Market, Syracuse Farmers Market, Benson Gristmill Farmers Market in Tooele and the VA Hospital Farmer Market. The Moab Farmers Market and Real Rood Rising, a youth farming program of Utahns Against Hunger, will also be accepting food stamps for the first time this season.

Nearly one in four households in Utah struggles to put food on the table, according to Laura Flower of Utahns Against Hunger. About 89 percent of those receiving food stamps are children, the disabled and the elderly.

“Utahns Against Hunger is working to increase access to healthier food for all low-income Utahns, especially those we know are most at risk for food hardship,” Flower said.

The benefits of food stamps at farmers markets do not stop with hunger relief, Flower said. For every food-stamp dollar spent, about $1.70 is generated back to the local community.

Additionally, the acceptance of food stamps can expand the customer base of a local market, as well as increase direct profits made by its farmers, she said.

Utah farmers markets accepting food stamps:

• VA Farmers Market; Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; VA Medical Center, 500 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City.

• Benson Grist Mill Farmers Market; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 325 State Road 138, Stansbury Park.

• Moab Farmers Market; Thursdays 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Swanny City Park, 100 West and Park Drive, Moab.

• Provo Farmers Market; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Pioneer Park, 500 W. 100 South, Provo.

• Roosevelt Farmers Market; Thursdays 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; 130 W. 100 North, Roosevelt.

• Syracuse City Farmers Market; Wednesdays 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; 1891 W. 1700, South, Syracuse.

• Real Food Rising Farm Stand; (day and time to be determined) 1080 W. 500 South, Salt Lake City.

• Happy Valley Farmers Market; Fridays 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Robinson Park, 100 E. Main St., American Fork.

• Cedar City Downtown Farmers Market; Wednesdays 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; (behind) Bulloch Drug, 100 W. Hoover St., Cedar City.

• Park SillySunday Market; Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Main Street, Park City.

• Ogden City Farmers Market; Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Municipal Gardens, 25th Street & Grant Ave., Ogden.

• The Downtown Farmers Market; Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Pioneer Park, 300 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City.

• Ninth West Farmers Market (formally People’s Market); Sundays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; International Peace Gardens, 1000 S. 900 West, Salt Lake City.

• Utah Botanical Center Farmers Market; Thursdays 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Utah Botanical Center, 875 S. 500 West, Kaysville.

• Cache Valley Gardeners Market; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Horseshoe/Willow Park, 500 W. 700 South, Logan.

• Sugar House Farmers Market; Fridays 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sugarmont Plaza, 2227 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City.

• University of Utah Farmers Market; Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Tanner Plaza, 201 S. 1460 East, Salt Lake City.

• IRC (International Rescue Committee) Farm Stand; Saturdays 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunnyvale Apartments, 764 W. 3940 South, Millcreek.

• Murray Park Farmers Market; Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Murray City Park, 200 E. 5200 South, Murray.

— Christopher Smart

csmart@sltrib.com