Blacksburg's farmer's market promotes income inclusivity

Blacksburg, Virginia is developing a stronger, more inclusive community by allowing SNAP/EBT members to shop at the local farmer’s market.
April 20, 2016
Mary Desmond



Blacksburg, Va., April 18, 2016 - Donations: Masa Monday at Rising SIlo Brewery is a community event that raises funds to support the SNAP/EBT Double Value Incentive Program. Photo Credit: Mary Desmond


When it comes to building stronger, healthier, and more inclusive communities, turning to local agriculture isn’t the first solution most people think of. However, when you think about it, humans depend heavily on agriculture to provide food for energy to survive. We need our food to be convenient, too, so that we can go about our daily endeavors with ease. 


Buying and eating local is ideal, but it can be pricey. Industrial agriculture and mainstream grocery, on the other hand, provides the masses with fast, affordable food. It’s not always as healthy as local food venues, though. Due to low incomes and stress for time, many members of the Blacksburg community only shop at mainstream food venues.


In 2011, the Friends of the Farmers Market organization started the SNAP/EBT (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/ Electronic Benefit Transfer – formerly known as food stamps) program. The program expanded in 2012 to become what is now the SNAP Double Value Incentive Program. This is an especially inclusive community project that enhances the power of the customers’ tokens, which are given based on their allotted debit benefits.


There are special fundraisers that are held around Montgomery

County that help donate to the SNAP Double Value program, like

Masa Mondays at Rising Silo Brewery.



From 2013 to 2014, FFM conducted another project to gauge further

expansion in inclusivity in the market community. The Montgomery

County Farm to Community Planning Project sought out to gain

knowledge about what low-income consumers want from the farmers market, how they want to see it grow, and how they feel it could be more inclusive.


The farmers market is a key source to a happy, healthy Blacksburg.

Blacksburg will surely continue to listen to its consumers to make

sure everything is as inclusive as it should be.

Here's an audio slideshow about Masa Monday, an event that Rising Silo Brewery at Glade Road Growing Farm organizes to help support Blacksburg's SNAP/EBT Double Value Program!