When you think SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), you might think quantity over quality. Well, now the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is helping to change that!
Starting this GreenMarket season, local community members will be able to take advantage of the healthy options the GreenMarket offers for themselves and their family. Official launch date coming soon!
“The stated purpose of the SNAP program is to help individuals in need afford a healthier diet,” said Alexina Jeannite, Community Engagement Director for the CRA. “While the program mainly serves low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities, it also serves as an economic stimulus tool to help protect families from hardship and hunger during times of crisis like temporary unemployment due to economic downturn. The current pandemic is another great example of how SNAP resources have and can be a safety net tool to help keep families and individuals afloat in times of crisis.”
The idea for the SNAP Program and GreenMarket junction came about after the CRA Assistant Director Christine Tibbs visited a green market in Northern Florida. Considering the fact that the area within our own CRA District is considered a food desert, the CRA team did not waste any time pursuing the opportunity to get the program at our local GreenMarket.
“Introducing SNAP at the GreenMarket will allow residents, who have had to travel outside of our community to shop for affordable, fresh, and healthy foods, to have the more convenient option of shopping right in their back yard, at the GreenMarket,” Jeannite said. “Furthermore, the Delray CRA currently offers FreeBee (a free point-to-point transportation program) that allows residents to get to and from the GreenMarket free of charge. The time, money, and energy saved from not having to travel outside of one’s community to find fresh, heathy, affordable food; not having to worry about finding transportation to get to those locations; and not having to spend more money than necessary to simply meet a basic need would be of tremendous benefit to residents and the general public.”
According to Jeannite, the benefits of having SNAP at the GreenMarket are manifold. It’s a convenient and affordable solution that ensures residents have access to fresh and healthy food options. It also helps the more than 56 vendors reach a greater customer base that will benefit from their offerings, which include fresh produce, fruits, vegetables, hears, meat, plants, and other unique products.
“While there are a number of farmers markets open during what is considered the ‘season’ in Palm Beach County, there are currently only two farmers markets open during the summer months in Palm Beach County – the Delray Beach GreenMarket is one of them,” Jeannite said. “The GreenMarket’s nearly year-round availability helps to ensure more residents, Delray Beach and beyond, have access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food options. By combining these essential projects and programs ¾ like the GreenMarket, Freebee, and SNAP – it bolsters the CRA’s portfolio of mutually supportive activities that are of great benefit to the community as a whole.”
Not only does this initiative help our community members who are suffering from food insecurity, extending the SNAP program at the GreenMarket helps the CRA achieve their overall mission and goals.
“The Delray Beach CRA’s mission is to revitalize the physical environment and the economy of the CRA District. To achieve our goals and fulfill our mission, our projects and programs are designed to be mutually supportive,” Jeannite said. “The GreenMarket is one of the programs of the Delray CRA that helps advance our mission and by combining essential projects and programs like the GreenMarket, Freebee, and SNAP.”
The Winter Delray Beach GreenMarket is open from October to May on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Official launch date of SNAP at the GreenMarket will be announced soon.