Food stamp spending at farmers markets on the rise

Farmers market
Baskets of hot peppers for sale Saturday morning, Aug. 31, 2013 at the downtown St. Paul Farmers Market.
MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson

Farmers markets in Minnesota saw a jump in food stamp purchases this year.

Food stamp recipients redeemed $226,900 this year at the state's farmers markets or with farmers who sell directly to consumers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's more than three times the $66,900 redeemed in 2011.

The growth is part of a national trend aimed at making fresh, healthy food more accessible to the millions of people on food assistance. Nearly 60 farmers markets in Minnesota now accept food stamps.

Despite the growth, farmers market spending still represents less than one percent of total state food stamp spending.

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