Feeding Florida's new initiative giving SNAP recipients healthier options

By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 23, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Feeding Florida's newest initiative provides affordable and accessible fresh local produce to low income families.

The Frenchtown Farmers Market is the first in Tallahassee to provide "Fresh Access Bucks" to the community. For KaShauna Davis, a SNAP recipient, every dollar she spends on local produce is matched.

She says, "Instead of going to the grocery store, to get food for the kids, when I come here I can also use my SNAP benefits and they give me an additional amount of money."

The money that is spent can be doubled up to $40, which is used to buy healthy food.

"When you go to the grocery store, you really don't know where the food is coming from. But here, you know where the food is coming from. It's local, you're helping the community, it's just great," states Davis.

That win-win situation is what Robin Safley from Feeding Florida says the company strives for, "Community is important, especially in today's world. Feeling connected, but also incubating those smaller growers and having a place for them to aggregate their products and sell it is just a positive thing."

Those selling their products, like Farmer Henry Gwynn, are happy to see others benefit from the initiative.

"I think it's really helped families develop a routine of preparing fresh vegetables for their kids and for the rest of their families," says Gwynn.

Families, like the Davises, feel supported.

"They like to look out for me, they like to encourage me. It's really special, I like it," Davis said.

Davis wants others to know, that every dollar spent, helps provide food access to all, "So, when you come here, being a part of this, it's something really special because it's helping to uplift the community."

The program is currently in 57 markets, but Feeding Florida is hoping to expand the initiative to other communities.

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