Johns Island Farmers Market to implement government food program
CHARLESTON POST & COURIER
JUNE 29, 2016
Jamie Gibson of Spartanburg found out that her local farmers market accepted Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits completely by accident. As a SNAP recipient, she enjoyed the market for the community aspect but didn’t think the shopping was for her.
“My family and I had made the choice to sacrifice and be low income while I was a full-time student,” she explains. “I worked part-time and had two small children, and so I was eligible for SNAP. I just happened to go to Hub City (farmers market) with my dad, and I found out at that market, I could use my EBT (electronic bank transfer card). There was a table at the market to help set me up, and so I started shopping. I’ve been shopping here ever since.”
Gibson, now an employee at the market as a SNAP Champion, works on community outreach. On Saturdays, she runs that table she once visited. “Sure, when I first began with SNAP, there was a stigma attached to using it, but I came to see that it was the opposite. It was a blessing, not a curse, and that’s how I relate to people about it. This market is for everybody.”
Hub City’s market SNAP system comes to the Homegrown Johns Island Farmers Market in a few weeks, but for many SNAP users in South Carolina, and that includes recipients in the tri-county area, farmers market access is far from assured.