Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

Community What's Happening

Johns Island Farmers Market to implement government food program

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.