Market Bucks Letter
Dear Conference Committee Members,

We are writing today to urge you to adopt the House language that includes funding for the Healthy Eating Here at Home program, otherwise known as Market Bucks, in the Omnibus Agriculture Bill.

All Minnesotans deserve access to fresh, affordable, local foods. Market Bucks makes these foods accessible to low-income Minnesotans by matching SNAP spending at farmers markets. During the summer of 2020 SNAP customers spent $276,920 in SNAP/EBT and $184,365 in Market Bucks creating $691,927 in additional economic activity in communities throughout the state. The increase in use highlights the fact that the Market Bucks program was a staple to many low-income Minnesotans and farmers during the economic downturn.

Market Bucks are a win-win-win for Minnesota:
• Customers win by being able to stretch their buying power at farmers markets, making
fresh, local food more affordable for low-income residents.
• Farmers win by bringing in new customers. This year 12,978 new customers used Market Bucks to purchase food from farmers markets.
• Communities win with increased local economic activity, a stronger sense of community, and healthier people.

Eliminating funding for Market Bucks would remove the ability of low-income individuals to buy healthy, local foods at farmers markets and force them to purchase and eat less-healthy food and rely more on food shelves for help making their food budget work. As it stands, food shelves are pushed to capacity serving a record 3.8 million visits annually. Food shelves also do not always have access to the quantity of fresh and local foods like farmers markets.

Individuals using Market Bucks have come to count on the program to help them afford the fresh, healthy food that they want to be able to eat for their own health and the health of their families. Losing this benefit in the midst of unprecedented levels of food insecurity would be devastating.

We urge you to preserve the funding for Healthy Eating Here at Home in your final budget bill to ensure the Market Bucks program continues to make a critical impact around Minnesota.

Please contact Leah Gardner lgardner@hungersolutions.org or 651-789-9850 with any questions.

Sincerely,


Alexandria Farmers Market
Alternative Roots Farm
Appetite For Change, Inc.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Bread in the Meadow
Cannon Valley Farmers' Market, Faribault
Central MN Vegetable Growers Association
City of Minneapolis Sustainability Division
Claire Nelson Farmers Market
Clover Valley Farms, LLC
Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES)
D & S Gardens
Dream of Wild Health
Drifted Stone Homestead
East Isles Farmers Market
Ferments and More
Finland Farmers Market/Friends of the Finland Community
Four Sisters Farmers Market
Hunger Solutions Minnesota
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis
Keystone Community Services
Legal Services Advocacy Project
Little Chili Farm
Marshall Farmers' Market
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Midtown Farmers Market
Mill City Farmers Market
Minnesota Farmers Union
Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association
Minnesota Fresh Farm
Monticello Farmers' Market
Neighborhood House
North Node Consulting, LLC
Northeast Farmers Market
Open Arms of Minnesota
Pillsbury United Communities
PRISM
Red Wing Farmers Market
Renewing the Countryside
Richfield Farmers Market
Ruhland's Strudel Haus
Second Harvest Heartland
Shared Grounds Farmers Cooperative
Sheepy Hollow @ Native Oaks Farm
Sprout MN
Stone's Throw Farm
The Aliveness Project
The Food Group
Twin Ports Helping Hands
Two Harbors Farmers Market
Ullands Timeless Gardens
Wabasha Downtown Farmers Market
Winona Farmers Market
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