When you see Maine Harvest Bucks (MHB) at farmers’ markets, consider how this program is the product of an organized effort among farmers, vendors, volunteers and community partners at each of the 31 farmers’ markets across the state. Because of their work, eating local is more accessible, easy and affordable for low-income Mainers receiving SNAP/EBT.
So, what’s the impact? Over and over we’re hearing from SNAP shoppers that Maine Harvest Bucks is helping them eat better, feel healthier, and live a more enriching life connected to their community. So far this year, over 1,000 new MHB shoppers, along with their families, were drawn to farmers’ markets to support their neighbors and enjoy the markets’ festivities. Thousands of people are consuming more fruits and vegetables, discovering new foods, meeting their neighbors, engaged in new activities, and shopping in an active and healthy outdoor environment.
Looking ahead, the Federation is working with 4 other New England states on a regional USDA FINI application as possible one opportunity to help fund Maine Harvest Bucks for the next 3-4 years. Stay tuned for more updates as the winter season progresses.