SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. EBT stands for Electronic Benefit Transfer. The Maine EBT card is like a bank debit card that holds food benefits.
Despe Lebel of Healthy Acadia says, “This is a big step for the market, and we are hopeful that customers will find it to be an added convenience when shopping at the Blue Hill Farmers Market.” SNAP/EBT shoppers should first come to the market’s information booth to learn how to use their cards at market. Lebel is standing by.
The Blue Hill Market participates in the Maine Harvest Bucks Nutrition Incentive Program, a program of the Maine Federation of Farmers Markets. Customers using their SNAP/EBT card at the market will receive Maine Harvest Bucks bonus vouchers to be used toward the purchase of additional fresh fruits and vegetables at the market. For every $2 spent on SNAP/EBT, shoppers receive $1 of Maine Harvest Bucks vouchers.
Jimmy DeBiasi, executive director at the Maine Federation of Farmers Markets, notes that more than half a million dollars in SNAP and Maine Harvest Bucks were spent in Maine last year. “More than 30 farmers markets across the state participate in Maine Harvest Bucks and we’re excited to have the Blue Hill Peninsula as an access point for our program.”
The market opened Memorial Day weekend for its 47th season. The market takes place at the Blue Hill Fairgrounds every Saturday from 9-11:30 a.m., rain or shine. It will continue through the first of October. For two weeks in late August, in order to make room for the Blue Hill Fair, the market typically relocates to the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill.
Activities and special events are planned throughout the summer season, including live music.
Vendor offerings have grown each year. Shoppers will find lots of seasonal fresh vegetables and fruit, a variety of meats, goat cheese, maple syrup, locally roasted coffee, breads and baked goods. The market also features crafts, handmade soap and pottery this year.