[image-1]According to the Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation, 15 percent of Johns Island residents live below the poverty level. That’s roughly 4,000 people struggling to put food on the table. And that’s why the Homegrown Johns Island Farmers Market (3546 Maybank Hwy.) decided to do something about it. Starting Sat. July 23, the farmers market will begin accepting SNAP benefits.

Now shoppers can use their EBT cards to purchase fresh fruit and veggies by simply visiting the information booth at the Johns Island Farmers Market. From there they’ll receive tokens to purchase food from participating vendors. In addition, a press release says, shoppers will get “$10 free in Healthy Bucks tokens or fresh fruits and vegetables when they spend at least $5 on their EBT cards, as a part of the Double Your Healthy Bucks program.”

Farmers market organizer Frasier Block says the program will allow a shopper to request, say, $20 on their EBT card. “We’ll give them $20 worth of tokens and they can then use that at any vendor whether it’s for produce, cheese, eggs, whatever.”

The new program is thanks to a SNAP Support grant the farmers market received from Eat Smart Move More SC. The program has also been launched at Hub City Farmers Market in Spartanburg, as well as the Travelers Rest market. 

The Homegrown Johns Island Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June through August.