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Strolling through the La Plata Farmers Market is always a fun experience. The tables are lined up with colorful fruits and vegetables, farm fresh eggs and a lot more.

It’s a place to connect with your community and fill your fridge with healthy, local foods. Now, it’s also a place where individuals and families using nutrition assistance programs like SNAP and WIC can make their food dollar go farther thanks to the Maryland Market Money Program.

Maryland Market Money is designed to remove economic barriers for food-insecure Marylanders, providing a dollar-for-dollar match for purchases made using federal nutrition benefits at local farmers markets.

LifeStyles is excited to be working with the program’s sponsors — the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, MARBIDCO and, locally, the Town of La Plata— to distribute Maryland Market Money tokens to shoppers at the La Plata Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Charles County Courthouse parking lot.

“We’re very excited to be joining this effort,” LifStyles Executive Director Sandy Washington said. “When you’re on a budget, it can be difficult to find affordable foods that are natural and healthy. The Maryland Market Money program is an opportunity to eat better week after week.”

Each market day, our Food Access Coordinator is set up in a tent beside the market info tent. Shoppers who are participating in the nutrition benefits programs can stop by our tent to receive your tokens. Funds are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10 a day to be used at the market. That means if you shop on Wednesday and Saturday, you’re eligible for up to $20 per week.

The tokens can be used to purchase any SNAP-eligible food items, including:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Dairy products
  • Breads and cereals
  • Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat

For those who are not yet participating in the benefits program but are interested in applying for SNAP benefits, LifeStyles can help you with the application process.

The Maryland Market Money program is truly unique in that it is designed to be a win-win-win proposition for all involved. It helps shoppers by lowering economic barriers to healthy foods. It helps farmers by improving their economic viability. And it helps markets by increasing their customer base.

Anyone with questions about the Maryland Market Money program at the La Plata Farmers Market can contact our Food Access Coordinator, Cindy McCallam, at mccallamc@lifestylesofmd.org or 301-609-9900 ext. 206.