Statewide program gives discount to SNAP recipients at farmers markets

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A regional non-profit has found a way to offer low-income individuals an affordable way to purchase fresh produce.

The program is called Produce Perks. People who receive SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, can double the worth of their benefits up to a certain point, if they shop at local farmers markets.

"The average amount of SNAP dollars is, I believe, somewhere around $125 a month, which doesn’t stretch very far," said Rachel Tayse, central Ohio coordinator for the Produce Perks program. "Of SNAP recipients, 75 percent report that they are eating more fruits and vegetables because of the produce perks benefits."

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Nik Olah used his benefits at the Pearl Market on Friday.

"I think it's really great for the community as a whole. The fact that you get fresh vegetables... you don't have to get canned or something," he said.

Olah says he's been using the program since it was tested out in Toledo. He says he's able to stay healthy on a budget because of it.

"I think it does everything possible to keep me kicking," he said.

There are 88 sites that take Produce Perks. To learn more, click here.