New farmers market accepts FoodShare benefits

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:02 AM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -A new farmers market in the Chippewa Valley is aiming to increase people’s access to fresh produce and support local vendors.

“We piloted the idea last year just to see if we could do it essentially, which we did, and it was very successful,” YMCA Healthy Living Director, Carrie Mathwig, said. “So, then we started planning last October, really putting every...all of our effort into making sure that we could make it happen this summer with the acceptance of FoodShare benefits.”

The market called Monday Market At The Y, was created collaboratively by organizations in the Chippewa Valley focused on promoting healthy living including the Chippewa Falls YMCA and Chippewa Health Improvement Partners.

“The mission of CHIP is to create a community where everyone has the resources, guidance, and support that they need to be their healthiest selves,” Community Health Outreach Specialist, Melissa Ives, said. “And certainly ensuring people have access to not just enough food, but to enough healthy foods is a big piece of that.”

One of the goals of the collaborators was to create a payment system that allows community members with FoodShare benefits to purchase produce at the market using those benefits.

“We have a card reader on site that they’ll swipe and for every $10 that they spend in FoodShare benefits,” Mathwig said. “So, they actually get a market match of an additional $10, but they can spend as much of their benefits that they would like. They’ll get little wooden tokens and those tokens will just be available.”

People not on FoodShare benefits are also welcome to shop at the market by using cash or by uploading money on the card reader and in return purchasing items with wooden tokens.

Monday Market At The Y will begin on Monday, June 12, and take place in the Chippewa Falls YMCA parking lot from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Monday, Sep. 25.

“We’ll also have some other great resources there for people to come and get information about whether it be mental health or dementia we’re going to really try to promote health in general at Monday Market At The Y,” Ives said. “So, we really encourage everybody to come on out and check it out and load up on those fresh fruits and veggies.”

Monday Market At The Y organizers are currently looking for vendors in the area to participate in the market. The market is a producers only market, so all products must be grown or made locally. To apply click here.