Poor Girl on SNAP: Using EBT At The Farmers Market


Lucky Dog Ranch, a popular meat supplier in the Sacramento valley that sells only sustainable, humanely raised beef, is one of the participating vendors. And for the first time in my Sacramento life, I made a purchase there. Because I'm usually working with only $20 at a time when I go to the farmer's market, I tend to skip right over the meat, poultry and fish stands, because I know there's no way in hell I can afford them. Do I want to buy their fantastic, organic, sustainable, products? Heck yeah! Unfortunately, the good stuff is still out of my usual price range, and even if my "money" is coming from SNAP right now, it's not something I'll always be able to afford while I'm on this program. But you'd better believe that I'm going to do my best to support a local business that is not only committed to sustainable farming practices, but open & generous enough to care about giving low-income families access to their products—even if it's just $5 at a time.

When all was said and done, I walked out with a terrific load of beets, turnips, carrots, cabbage, onions, almonds, pistachios, ground beef, cilantro, scallions, Thai basil, kale and more for just $28 of my SNAP dollars. I still have two of my vouchers left, and because they don't expire, I'll be able to use them on my next shopping trip. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to be able to use money I consider to be sacred—food money—on actual food. Obviously, I get a lot of other ingredients at regular grocery stores, but my produce is also sacred to me; I want it to be truly fresh and of good quality, which is why I prefer getting it from my local farmers markets.


Will I be shopping my beloved farmers market this way forever? I certainly hope not! I'm eager to get back to feeling "okay" about things like rent and utilities—and food. But I am, and will forever be grateful that SNAP and other general assistance programs exist. I'm also extremely grateful that they're allowing for people in dire financial straits to have buying access to fresh, healthy foods, and just as thankful for organizations like Alchemist to help put these things together. Not all of these programs are perfect yet, nor are they offered everywhere, but it's nice to see improvements being made. I have great hopes that this is a sign of better things to come, so that all people, regardless of income, have the chance to eat well. We all deserve it!

Kimberly A. Morales

Kimberly has shared her stories, recipes and tips on how to eat ridiculously well despite her nano-budget on Poor Girl Eats Well for almost four years, and now she's finally writing & self-publishing a book! Check out the details on her Kickstarter page for how you can pitch in and pre-order your signed copy today!

Check out the other posts in today's Hunger Hits Home event below:

[BlogHer Food '12With 300+ food blogs by influential recipe experts, the BlogHer Food Network is the fourth largest food community online. Whether you're new to food blogging or an old pro, you should join us in Seattle, WA on June 8-9, 2012 -- register now!]

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