Athens Farmers Market connects low income families with local produce

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Athens Farmers Market is now giving low-income people the chance to get healthy and organic food options that won’t break the bank.

Those who have access to food stamps can now use these to purchase produce and goods.

The Athens Outdoor Farmer's Market
Vendors at the Athens Farmers Market. [Jensen Knecht | WOUB]
Athens Farmers Market Manager Tanya Hire said the program works by taking money off of a person’s SNAP card and that amount will be given to them in the form of gold tokens, with each coin worth a dollar.

SNAP card customers can also be part of the Produce Perks Program, where they can get up to 25 free green coins, with each coin worth a dollar.

The difference between the tokens is the gold tokens can be used to purchase anything at the market and the green tokens can be used only for produce.

Hire said the main goal was to support local businesses and give people the ability to purchase fresh fruits and veggies without spending as much compared to grocery stores. She said on a typical summer Saturday at the Farmers Market around $800 to $1,200 worth of food stamps are used to purchase goods and produce.

To learn more about SNAP benefits, visit