Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Food Stamp Use Grows as More City Greenmarkets Accept EBT

Food stamp purchases at City Greenmarkets nearly doubled in early July as compared to totals for the same time last year. City Council has outfitted 14 Greenmarkets with Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) terminals, making it easier and more discrete for food stamp recipients to purchase fresh, local produce in their neighborhoods. This is part of an ongoing trend: Total food stamp purchases at Greenmarkets have continued to rise exponentially in the past several years, from $1,000 in 2005 to over $40,000 in 2007.

Greenmarkets officials attribute the recent increase in food stamp spending to extensive community outreach funded by City Council and new staff positions dedicated to EBT sales. “As word is spreading about food stamp access at Greenmarkets, we are seeing families come out and shop in record numbers. This dramatic increase is further proof that New Yorkers are hungry for healthy food options,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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