Global Gardens Refugee Community Agriculture is now accepting food stamps at its Saturday market booth, the first Capital City Public Market vendor to offer that service.
Of the nearly 50 farmers markets in Idaho, only two in Moscow and one in Grangeville take food stamps in exchange for fresh produce, according to Kathy Gardner, director of the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force.
Gardner said that Idaho's food stamp rolls have increased 38 percent in the past year. The federal stimulus package is providing more funds for low income people to buy food and Gardner wants to see more of that spent on fresh, local produce at farmers markets.
“It’s new business for them to see this as hunger relief,” Gardner said. But it's good for business too. As one LA farmers market vendor recently told CBS News: "I've never sold so many vegetables in my life."
Global Gardens began accepting food stamps last week at it's booth on Eighth Street, south of Idaho Street. The group of refugee farmers grows organic produce at five farms across the Treasure Valley and sells to local restaurants as well as at the Saturday Market, Tuesday market at Edwards Greenhouse and provides space for refugee families to grow their own food.