Bethel farm now accepting food stamps

by Kyle Clayton on July 18, 2013

Meyers' FarmThe Bethel Farmer’s Market is accepting food stamps and offering a program that allows customers to double down on their purchases.

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Tim Meyers sells organic and locally grown produce from his farmer’s market near Tundra Ridge. He sells peaches, apples and plums.

“And cherries and carrots and strawberries,” Meyers says. “We’ve got everything.”

And now any Quest card carrying resident can purchase produce at Meyers Farm. And because of a new state run program, every $20 a person spends, they get an additional $20 worth of food.

“They should come out and take a look and bring their Quest card and double their money,” Meyers says. “It’s better than the slot machines.”

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is funding 11 farmer’s markets across the state.

“But in Bethel, that money is actually coming from YKHC,” Nutritionist Diane Peck says.

Peck works with the Obesity and Control Program at the DHSS.

“We know that there are low income Alaskans who are on Quest who would like access to healthier foods that you can find at farmer’s markets,” Peck says. “The goal of the program is to increase access and availability and affordability of healthy local foods.”

The Yukon Kuskowkim Health Corporation Diabetes Department provided $2000 to Meyers’ market and the deal will last until the money runs out. Meyers says it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.

“There’s been about eight or ten people so far,” Meyers says. “It’s kind of surprising. It’s a pretty good deal. The price of the produce here is very competitive with the other stores and for the first $20 it’s half price each time they come.”

Meyers says even after the funds run out, he will continue to accept food stamps.

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