Program offers dollar-for-dollar match of up to $10 in purchases made with SNAP card
Baton Rouge- As part of its ongoing efforts to create health equity and fight food insecurity, Louisiana Healthcare Connections has partnered with the Natchitoches Farmers Market (NFM) to expand their SNAP benefits reach. Beginning Oct. 16 and running every Saturday through Nov. 13, NFM shoppers with a Louisiana Purchase (SNAP) card will receive a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $10 in purchases, meaning a total of $20 worth of fresh foods and produce for every $10 spent.
SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, offers nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families—in Louisiana, about 1 in 5 people receive SNAP benefits. Loaded on an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card, benefits can be used to purchase eligible food items at SNAP-participating retailers. Currently, Louisiana Healthcare Connections is a matching partner with four of the seven farmers markets in the state that accept SNAP benefits.
“We share Louisiana Healthcare Connections’ commitment to ensuring access to fresh food to help families become healthier,” says Sharon Durham, assistant coordinator of the Natchitoches Farmers Market. Market coordinator, Valerie Balthazar, added, “Our partnership with Louisiana Healthcare Connections will help link local families with fresh food grown by local farmers and provide education and resources to improve nutritional habits.”
To celebrate the fall season of the Natchitoches Farmers Market and their SNAP-match partnership, Louisiana Healthcare Connections is hosting a special “Double-Up” celebration at the market featuring prizes, giveaways and more on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 8:00 a.m. to noon along the downtown riverbank (Front Street) in Natchitoches.
“The latest USDA Research notes that Louisiana has the third-highest food insecurity in the nation, so as one of the most important social determinants of health, access to healthy, fresh food needs to be a top priority,” says Joe Tidwell, Louisiana Healthcare Connections vice president of network development and engagement. “Partnering with organizations like the Natchitoches Farmers Market is another step towards providing greater access to healthy, nutritious food and building health equity in our communities.”