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Mancos Farmers’ Market will accept SNAP benefits

Mary Beth Gentry brings out some radishes for the Eagle Tree Farm booth at the Mancos Farmers Market in 2013.

An agreement between Mancos Valley Resources and the Mancos Farmers Market will allow people who are enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to use benefits for food at the market starting this summer.

Mancos Valley Resources is an umbrella organization that extends its nonprofit status to 18 other community organizations. The Mancos Farmers Market will become a project of Mancos Valley Resources and obtain nonprofit status, meeting a U.S. Department of Agriculture requirement for becoming a SNAP retailer.

“I’m hoping people who might have considered the market out of their price range now will be able to attend,” farmers market manager Bryan Kyle said in a news release. “This will help get some more good food on people’s plates. And it’s more customers for the farmers.”

LiveWell Colorado’s Double Up Food Bucks program may offer further benefits for SNAP beneficiaries, Kyle said. The program provides a match to SNAP credits of up to $20 for Colorado-grown produce, according to LiveWell’s website.

For the 2017 season, the Mancos Farmers Market will open on June 1 in Boyle Park in downtown Mancos. Market day will be Thursday, with afternoon hours to be announced.

On market days, more than a dozen vendors offer locally grown, seasonal produce as well as other products and crafts made nearby.

Kyle said participation in the SNAP benefits program will be optional for market vendors, and those who do not wish to participate will not be required to do so. Participating vendors will be reimbursed at the end of the market day, he added.

The Mancos Farmers Market is the newest of several Mancos Valley Resources projects that support area agriculture and promote food security. Others include the High Desert Conservation District, Mancos Foodshare, the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project, Montezuma School to Farm, Mount Lookout Grange and the Southwest Farm Fresh Co-Op.

“We’re proud to support the goals of the Mancos Farmers’ Market and other community-based projects throughout Montezuma County,” said Tami Graham, president of Mancos Valley Resources.

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