Winter Market Offers SNAP Program, Gift Ideas

WWLP, December 6, 2016, by

The city’s first Westfield Winter Market takes place within the Episcopal Church of the Atonement on Court Street this Saturday.

The market will feature 21 vendors which includes 10 of the regular summer season entrepreneurs as well as an added bonus – SNAP & Save, a program that doubles SNAP/food stamp dollars spent at farmers’ markets, through CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture). The market’s Loyalty Card Program will also be available to patrons.

“SNAP & Save makes fresh, local food more available to more of our neighbors, and it brings new customers and needed income to our local farmers’ markets,” said Philip Korman, CISA’s executive director. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this program during the colder days of winter at farmers’ markets in Springfield, Amherst, Northampton and Greenfield, as well as in Westfield.”

CISA’s SNAP & Save program was first established in 2015 and it grew this year to serve shoppers at 22 markets throughout Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire counties, according to Korman.

Shoppers who receive SNAP benefits may visit Westfield’s market, swipe their EBT cards at the market manager’s booth, and receive tokens valued at double the swiped value, up to $10, to spend Saturday on SNAP-eligible foods at the market.

“The SNAP program was well received at the Westfield market this year,” said Peter Langmore, assistant market manager.

Throughout the 2016 season, SNAP matches benefitted individuals of all ages, from students and mothers with children to seniors.

The Westfield Winter Market is planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and vendors will be selling seasonal products including winter vegetables, jams and jellies, pickles, relishes, holiday meats, mushrooms and baked goods. Additionally, vendors will be showcasing unique gift ideas ranging from soaps, oils and gift baskets to pottery and sweet treats.

While patrons enjoy the festive atmosphere of the fair, musical performances will once again be sponsored by the Westfield Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council and begins with Rum & Steel – Jon Adams on steel drums – at 10 a.m., followed by Whiskey Traveler with Bernie Dion playing country and pop from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Dogwalker with Marcia Hendrick and Ted Lewis performing country and light jazz from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Rounding out the day’s performances will be the Hart & Woody Duo from 1:45 to 3 p.m., playing blues and jazz.

The summer market expanded in November and December on a trial basis and by all accounts, the idea was a success, according to Langmore.

“Our 2016 season was fantastic,” said Langmore. “The November market was also well attended.”

Langmore added that market organizers are expecting more area residents to stop by for this week’s event.

“With 21 vendors between the church’s upstairs and downstairs areas we are looking forward to a record crowd,” said Langmore.

Langmore also noted that the winter market will introduce artist Rachel Nabet of Red Rooster Felt from Westfield, Stoneybrook Cider of South Hadley, and author and illustrator Rhonda Boulette from Blandford who will be reading from her “Flitten Fairy Tales” books at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

An added bonus for parents shopping is that a professional babysitting service will be provided.

For more information on the winter market, call (413) 562-5461, ext. 101, or send an e-mail to