Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs at the Farmers Markets in Chelsea
The Chelsea Farmer’s Market is proud to be a part of 5 different food assistance programs, all with the goal of increasing the health of Chelsea residents, making fresh foods available to those in need, and getting the market more involved in its community! Our 5 programs are:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – aka “Bridge Card”
- Double Up Food Bucks
- Prescription for Health
- Senior Project Fresh
- Women Infants Children (WIC) Project Fresh
Below you will find descriptions and eligibility requirements for each program.
What is SNAP (aka “Bridge Card”)?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as the Bridge Card, is the nation’s largest nutritional assistance program and the cornerstone of the Federal Government efforts to alleviate hunger. At farmers markets, SNAP benefits are accessed via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT).
At the market in Chelsea, visit our welcome booth to receive tokens or ask for any additional information you may need. Simply swipe your card, get your tokens and use your tokens to buy fresh food including fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese, bread, eggs and plants to grow vegetables in your garden. Tokens may not be used to purchase hot food products.
To be eligible:
- In order to be eligible for SNAP, you must meet multiple requirements including resource, income and employment requirements. To see the details of those requirements, please visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligibility.
- To apply for a Bridge Card, visit: www.mibridges.michigan.gov/access
Department of Health Services will be at Faith In Action to help sign up for Bridge Cards on Wednesdays. Visit the Faith In Action website or call (734) 475-3305 for location and hours.
What is Double Up Food Bucks?
If you are eligible for SNAP and use your SNAP Bridge Card to shop for food at the farmer’s market, the amount of money you spend is automatically matched with Double Up Food Bucks bonus tokens, which can be used to purchase produce at the market. This is an automatic program running parallel with SNAP; you do not have to apply. Double Up Food Bucks runs June through October only at the Chelsea Farmers Market on Saturdays and Bushel Basket Market on Wednesdays.
What is Prescription for Health?
Faith in Action’s Grace Clinic is participating in the Prescription for Health Program, which connects patients at medical clinics to their local farmers market. Participants receive nutrition education and support, and they also receive coupons to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers markets June – October!
How do you get involved?
- Contact Faith in Action.
If you think that you are eligible for the program, meaning you are at risk for a chronic disease and have food access difficulty, contact either Nancy Paul or Doug Smith to get involved. Their telephone number is (734)-475-3305 and their emails are below.
- Nancy Paul (director) email@example.com
- Doug Smith (program coordinator) firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Attend a group enrollment visit.
At a group enrollment visit, you will receive information about the program, set specific goals for healthy eating, and receive a “prescription” for fresh fruits and vegetables. The prescription may be filled at the farmers market and is worth a total of $100.
- Take your prescription to the Welcome booth at the Chelsea farmers market.
Program staff give the patient $10 in tokens at each visit, up to 10 visits. The tokens can be used the same as cash at the market to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
What is Senior Project Fresh?
Senior Project Fresh is a free program that provides qualifying older adults with more access to fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are already enrolled in Senior Project fresh, the Chelsea Farmer’s Market will accept coupons with which you can buy eligible items – berries, honey, fresh greens, and vegetables. Click here to see a full list of purchasable items.
If you are interested in being involved with the program, contact Amanda Ng with the Washtenaw County Public Health Department at email@example.com. Ask if there are any more openings.
To be eligible:
- 60 years or older
- Have a household income of 185% of poverty or less
- attend the Chelsea Farmer’s Market! (or any market where coupons are accepted)
To determine whether or not your family meets the income requirements for Senior Project Fresh, refer to this chart.
What is WIC Project Fresh?
Project Fresh includes fruit and vegetable benefits for Women Infants and Children (WIC). Women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding are targeted to help meet their special nutritional needs with coupons used at farmers markets. Their goal is to help families eat and be healthier. For more information about the WIC, please visit the Washtenaw Health Department’s website here.
To be eligible:
WIC Project Fresh caters specifically to:
- low-income pregnant women
- low-income breastfeeding women
- non-breastfeeding postpartum women
- infants or children (up to 5 years old) at nutritional risk
To determine whether or not you meet the income requirements, please check out the Eligibility Reference Sheet from the Washtenaw Health Department here. The first page will guide you through calculating your total annual income, and the last page shows you whether or not you are eligible based on that income.
If you have questions about how to use SNAP/EBT or Double Up Food Bucks at the farmers markets in Chelsea, please contact our Market Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
WAVE bus service available to Bridge Card customers
The Western-Washtenaw Area Value Express (W.A.V.E) bus will provide FREE service on market days for free to all customers who show a Bridge Card on their way to the farmers market from July to October.