By Rose Chavez
Food System/Food Equity Coalition
A visit to the Pagosa Farmers Market on Saturday morning is a good idea for a number of reasons.
First, our growers supply an abundance of fresh produce and fruit. This past Saturday, vendors sold more than 150 pounds of tomatoes, more than 50 pounds of Palisade peaches, 40 pounds of strawberries and 10 pounds of grapes, plus a variety of other freshly harvested vegetables.
Secondly, our producers supply customers with freshly baked baguettes and sweet or savory hand pies, muffins (gluten free and otherwise), cookies, granola and the most mouth-watering of toffees.
Thirdly, even if visiting with neighbors is not encouraged, still, you can say a quick hello as you move from vendor to vendor.
If you are a SNAP recipient, there is another good reason for shopping at the market — you can turn your $20 purchase into a $40 value and, at the same time, purchase fresh local as well as regional vegetables, fruits and products.
Community members in Colorado and New Mexico are able to stretch their food dollars and get more fruits and vegetables with Double Up Food Bucks when they spend their SNAP EBT card dollars at participating farmers markets (including the Pagosa Springs Farmers Market), farm stands, mobile markets and grocery stores. For example, if you spend $10 from your SNAP EBT card at a participating outlet, you get another $10 to buy fresh fruits and veggies grown in Colorado/New Mexico. If you spend $26 from your SNAP EBT card, you get another $26 for fresh fruits and vegetables. This means you have doubled your purchasing power. By using your Double Up Bucks, you help support local and regional farmers and increase your consumption of healthy local food. You also help to increase local economic activity by keeping your spending local.
To learn more about the Double Up Buck program and to find locations around Colorado that support the program, read more at: https://doubleupcolorado.org/.