Contact: Omena McCoy
March 20, 2012
State Senator Joan V. Hartley (D-Waterbury) was joined today by Susan Pronovost, Executive Director of Brass City Harvest and Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O’Leary to describe new funding to help underwrite a Double Value Coupon Program this year at local farmers’ markets. Wholesome Wave, a national, nonprofit operation, recently awarded a grant for this Waterbury initiative.
“Wholesome Wave’s mission is to improve access and affordability of fresh, healthy, locally-grown produce to historically underserved communities,” according to Ralph Loglisci, Wholesome Wave’s Director of Communications.
“For as long as I have been working with Wholesome Wave toward this program I have been impressed with the organization’s commitment to building relationships among local and regional agricultural producers and economically vulnerable residents,” Senator Hartley said. “This Waterbury program will help local residents with improved access to fresh fruits and vegetables and it will help local growers with an expanded market for their harvest.”
The collaborative Double Value Coupon Program announced today allows Waterbury-area residents to increase the value of federal nutrition benefits, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks (issued to seniors and participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) at local farmers markets.
The enhanced nutritional value of farm-fresh products is well documented and now this program gives eligible local residents the opportunity to bring home twice as much produce as before with the same coupons,” Senator Hartley said. “The added double bonus is increased demand for locally produced crops, which helps keep local farmland in production, and keeping federal funding for these nutrition programs in local circulation.”
“Today’s announcement about the imminent, increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to celebrate the first day of spring,” Senator Hartley added.
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