This winter, MFFM is hosting trainings for Maine Harvest Bucks (MHB) markets to orient and inspire the program organizers for the coming 2018 season. The trainings are occuring at an opportune and transitional moment for MHB, as the initial three year federal grant that funded the incentive program comes to an end.
After three years of awareness-building, outreach, and program growth, Maine Harvest Bucks has empowered thousands of families, seniors and individuals facing food insecurity to support their local farmers and consume more fruits and vegetables (including over $200,000 worth of bonus fruits and vegetables). The Federation, along with our partner markets, is resolute in continuing to build upon this success during this year of funding transition. To that end, our partner markets are rising to the occasion and pursuing their own fundraising and resources. Across Maine, local businesses, churches, and farmers’ market champions (aka shoppers) are partnering with markets so that Maine Harvest Bucks can continue without pause in the coming season. The program is a win-win for SNAP shoppers and local farmers, providing more local fruits and vegetables to low-income consumers and building new relationships in our community.
The winter trainings are a golden opportunity for organizers from different markets to connect and learn from each other. Jimmy DeBiasi, MFFM’s SNAP Program Coordinator, hosts the trainings and orients new and returning markets to the ins and outs of running the program. By June, the Federation should be securing new partners for Maine Harvest Bucks for the coming season, which will further bolster the momentum of this powerful program that is stretching the budgets and improving the nutrition of so many people in Maine.
The trainings are being held at the following locations and dates:
February 12: Bangor Training
9:30 to 12pm
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office
307 Maine Ave, Bangor, ME 04401
February 28: Lewiston Training
9:30 to 12pm
St. Mary’s Nutrition Center
208 Bates St, Lewiston, ME 04240
Another training date in souther Maine is TBD.
Anyone with questions should email SNAP@mffm.org.