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Making Local Food More Accessible: Welcoming SNAP, WIC/Senior Coupons, and all who use them

Learn how to accept SNAP and WIC & Senior coupons, plus what it takes to effectively implement these programs at your business and how to be welcoming to low-income customers.

The first session will cover what these programs are, why they’re valuable, and what you need to do to accept these forms of payment at your business. The second session will cover best practices for implementing SNAP/coupons and welcoming low-income customers, featuring a panel of farmers as well as resources from CISA and Berkshire Grown. These two workshops are co-hosted by CISA and Berkshire Grown.

Session 1: How to accept SNAP and WIC/Senior Coupons – Tuesday February 15, 1-2:30pm
Session 2 Best Practices: SNAP and welcoming low-income customers at your farm –  Tuesday March 1, 10-11:30am:

These workshops are free and attendees can register for one or both sessions.

Register here.

See class descriptions:

How to accept SNAP and WIC/Senior Coupons

Tuesday February 15, 1-2:30pm
Learn what it takes to accept SNAP and WIC & Senior coupons at your farm and how being a part of these programs enables you to feed your neighbors and boost your bottom line. We’ll be covering what these programs are, how they can fit into your business, and what it takes to register with these state and federal programs in order to accept these forms of payment at your business.

Participants will come away with an understanding of how to set up SNAP at their business, their options for getting SNAP processing equipment, how to accept WIC and Senior coupons, and who to ask for help when they go through these application processes. Attendees will also come away with a step-by-step list of how to accept SNAP and coupons at their business plus a contact list of relevant people they can ask questions along the way.

We’ll be joined by Lisa Roach of MarketLink, an organization that administers grants for SNAP equipment and helps farms navigate the SNAP application. We’ll also be joined by Rebecca Davidson, Program Coordinator for the coupon program from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.

Best Practices: SNAP and welcoming low-income customers at your farm

Tuesday March 1, 10-11:30am
Your farm accepts SNAP (or you’re working on setting up SNAP), but how to make the most of this tool and have it be a success?  Join us to hear a panel of farmers on how they incorporate accepting SNAP at their business in a way that makes clients feel welcome and keeps customers coming back.

Attendees will come away with context for how other farms effectively incorporate SNAP at their business and ideas for best practices they can use themselves. The panel will cover how accepting SNAP affected their business, how they effectively promote that they accept SNAP, how they do outreach to low-income customers, and how they tailor their offerings in ways that meet their customers’ demands and expectations. There will also be time for questions.

CISA and Berkshire Grown will also be sharing other resources attendees can use to make the most of the SNAP program at their business.

Panelists:

Emily Chiara of Just Roots
Just Roots is a nonprofit farm that has been accepting SNAP since 2015. Just Roots runs one of the the largest SNAP CSAs in the state and serves hundreds of SNAP customers each year. Emily is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Just Roots and has ample experience in doing outreach to customers and partners around SNAP and HIP.

Harrison Bardwell of Bardwell Farm
Harrison had Bardwell Farm became authorized to accept SNAP in the spring of 2021. They now accept SNAP at their farmstand and at the multiple farmers’ markets they attend throughout the year. Bardwell Farm is a twenty five acre diversified vegetable farm in Hatfield, MA.

Meg Bantle and Laura Tupper-Palches of Full Well Farm
Meg Bantle (they/she) is a sixth generation farmer in the Berkshires with eight years of organic vegetable growing and gardening experience under their belt, including three seasons of co-owning and managing Full Well Farm. They grew up on the farm property in Adams and are excited to be growing food for the community that they grew up in. Laura Tupper-Palches (she/her) is a co-owner and manager of Full Well Farm in Adams, MA. After briefly living in a food desert in New York city she became interested in food security which, combined with her passion for nature, led her to agriculture. She had several years of organic farming experience before starting Full Well Farm with Meg Bantle in 2019. Going into the fourth season at Full Well, she is focusing on soil health and furthering community connections.

Questions? Reach out to Zoey.

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