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Making Local Food More Accessible: Welcoming SNAP, WIC/Senior Coupons, and All Who Use Them

February 15, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) and Berkshire Grown (BG) are hosting two events to help farmers, farmers markets and food providers better prepare for supporting low-income customers who use programs like SNAP, HIP and WIC. With food insecurity on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these programs provide a way for low-income communities to access fresh local food, and for our local growers to help alleviate hunger in the state.

Learn how to accept SNAP and WIC & Senior coupons, plus what it takes to effectively implement these programs at your business and how to be welcoming to low-income customers.

The first session will cover what these programs are, why they’re valuable, and what you need to do to accept these forms of payment at your business. The second session will cover best practices for implementing SNAP/coupons and welcoming low-income customers, featuring a panel of farmers as well as resources from CISA and Berkshire Grown.

Session One: How to Accept Snap and WIC/Senior Coupons

Participants will come away with an understanding of how to set up SNAP at their business, their options for getting SNAP processing equipment, how to accept WIC and Senior coupons, and who to ask for help when they go through these application processes. Attendees will also come away with a step-by-step list of how to accept SNAP and coupons at their business plus a contact list of relevant people they can ask questions along the way.

We’ll be joined by Lisa Roach of MarketLink, an organization that administers grants for SNAP equipment and helps farms navigate the SNAP application. We’ll also be joined by Rebecca Davidson, Program Coordinator for the coupon program from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.

Session Two: SNAP and Welcoming Low-Income Customers at Your Farm

Attendees will come away with context for how other farms effectively incorporate SNAP at their business and ideas for best practices they can use themselves. The panel will cover how accepting SNAP affected their business, how they effectively promote that they accept SNAP, how they do outreach to low-income customers, and how they tailor their offerings in ways that meet their customers’ demands and expectations. There will also be time for questions.

CISA and Berkshire Grown will also be sharing other resources attendees can use to make the most of the SNAP program at their business.


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