Farm shares, produce offered to SNAP recipients

The Greenfield Recorder, August 29, 2017

COLRAIN — Lyonsville Farm is partnering with the Mary Lyon Foundation and the Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont regional school districts to offer eight weeks of fresh produce distributed at the schools — designed especially for SNAP recipients.

Families that choose to pay for their share with SNAP benefits will have the cost automatically reimbursed to them through the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), which gives an automatic dollar-for-dollar rebate for SNAP money spent on local fruits and vegetables bought at a farmers’ market, farm stand, mobile market, or through a farm share. This farm share is priced specifically so that it will be effectively free to all families paying with SNAP. Interested families who do not receive SNAP benefits are also encouraged to participate.

The program begins in mid-September and runs through mid-November. These $100 farmshares offer an opportunity for families in western Franklin County to bring home local produce and support a small local farm.

Lyonsville Farm grows all-natural vegetables and plants using sustainable farming techniques.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to bring delicious and healthy food to other hilltown families, and for the increased access to local food that HIP creates,” said owner Maria Topitzer. “We welcome all families to participate.”

For the past 25 years, the Mary Lyon Foundation has been recognized for its widely acclaimed, innovative programs supporting education in the hilltowns. “The farm share concept is an important milestone in our journey to help all children in the community come to school healthy, happy and ready to learn,” said Co-Director Sheila Damkoehler. “Lyonsville Farm shares our enthusiasm for this exciting new agricultural endeavor.”

The Mohawk/Hawlemont Regional School Districts serve students in Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Hawley, Heath, Plainfield, Rowe and Shelburne. “Mohawk and Hawlemont are proud to partner with the Mary Lyon Foundation and Lyonsville Farm to help our families access farm fresh produce through the Healthy Incentives Program,” said Superintendent Michael Buoniconti. “A healthy diet, including an abundance of fruits and vegetables, is essential to our students’ education.”

Applications for the farm share can be found at For more information, contact Lyonsville Farm at 413-339-4393 or

For more information about the Healthy Incentives Program, call the Project Bread FoodSource Hotline at 800-645-8333 or visit