Nutrition assistance programs in the city

Arcadia Mobile Market and most other farmers markets in the city will accept checks from the revamped Produce Plus Program, an initiative funded with $130,000 from the District government.

Individuals receiving benefits through programs including Women, Infants and Children, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income are eligible for Produce Plus. In Produce Plus, each family presenting their program identification can receive $10, in the form of two $5 checks, per week per distribution site, located at farmers markets or other community facilities. The checks can be used at any point between now and Sept. 30. The funds are available while supplies last.

Lillie Rosen, food access director for the nonprofit DC Greens, doesn’t expect the funds to last long.

“I think this year’s really going to help us extrapolate” for allocating funding for future years, she says.

DC Greens and the city are also expanding the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription initiative from one site to four. The program is available at the Minnesota Avenue, Parkside, Upper Cardozo and Walker Jones Unity Health Care clinics. Doctors at those clinics can write “prescriptions” for farmers market produce. Patients can then receive $7 to $10 in vouchers per family member per week.

Many farmers markets offer matching dollars for customers purchasing food with funds from assistance programs. The amount that is matched and what types of funding are matched, as well as what matched funds can be spent on, varies from site to site. If you have questions, ask the market manager.

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Becky Krystal is a member of The Post's Food and Travel staffs. In her spare time she loves to, of course, travel and cook.
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