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Aims to increase access to healthy & local food for residents
As of Wednesday, customers of the Niagara Falls City Market will be able to use their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, formerly known as food stamps, to purchase eligible products from vendors.
LiveNF has received authorization from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to include an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) station at the farmers market, allowing Niagara Falls residents to use the SNAP benefits to purchase healthy options from local producers. The market currently accepts WIC (Women, Infants & Children) benefits.
LiveNF has also partnered with Create A Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area to provide staffing for the management of SNAP acceptance at the market.
A press release stated, “Food insecurity is a significant challenge in communities and neighborhoods across the country, including throughout the City of Niagara Falls. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the barriers that lead to food insecurity. More than 42 million Americans receive SNAP benefits today, up from prepandemic numbers of just over 35 million.”
LiveNF President Phil Mohr said, “Access to healthy, fresh and Niagara-country grown produce should be something that everyone has. And, it is becoming more and more important for residents to get to know and to buy from their local farmers markets as a point of access.”
Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative integrator Brian Archie said, “The inclusion of the SNAP program at the City Market is a game-changer. It allows for true access and accessibility to fresh locally grown by Niagara County residents for Niagara County residents.”
Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Executive Director Sara Capen added, “Niagara County is abundant with growers and farmers who produce a diversity of fresh produce. Connecting communities – especially vulnerable communities – with what is produced here in Niagara County is an opportunity to share that abundance and improve healthy food choices in Niagara Falls.”
The inclusion of SNAP at the Niagara Falls City Market is a top priority of the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan, a city-adopted plan that seeks to increase food security and strengthen the local food system.
LiveNF has a mission focused on creating a sense of pride through events and interactions that get more people to stay in, move back to, or take a second look at the City of Niagara Falls. The organization seeks to bring residents together through events, social media and shared experiences. Learn more at livenf.com.
The Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative is a 501(c)(3) that gives opportunities to residents of Niagara Falls to become change agents. The collaborative is engaged in the community, provides tools and support to residents, and partners with local businesses, nonprofit organizations and faith communities to positively impact the City of Niagara Falls’ health and well-being residents. Learn more at healthierniagarafalls.org.
The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area is one of 55 National Heritage Areas in the U.S. Designated by Congress in 2008, its mission is to preserve, protect and promote the historic, natural and cultural resources of the area stretching from Niagara Falls to Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown. Through partnerships and initiatives, the National Heritage Area supports small grants to community partners, develops significant projects such as the Discover Niagara Shuttle and #NFMurals, and is a leading advocate for enhancing appreciation of the significant historic, cultural and natural resources within the National Heritage Area. Learn more at discoverniagara.org.