Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Latest issue

Rebecca Landis emphasizes the importance of SNAP card for farmers markets around Oregon

Matthew McKenna, OMN Photographer
Fresh produce ready to be purchased at the Corvallis Wednesday Farmers’ Market. The Wednesday Farmers’ Market offers a wide array of locally-grown produce which can be purchased with a SNAP card.

On the corner of First and Jackson is a place where, each week, students on limited budgets can stretch their food dollars just a little farther.

All markets use a currency for people who can’t afford the fresh vegetables in their budget called a SNAP card, or in Oregon, an Oregon Trail Card. This combined with an additional card called Double Up Food Bucks, which work hand in hand together to help locals around the Corvallis area afford these fresh vegetables for their meals. Applying for a SNAP card is pretty straightforward, you can online, in person, or on the phone. People aged 18-49 may be eligible if they make less than $30k annually if living by themself, $40k if there are two people, and $50k if there are three.

“Students are hiding hunger,” Market Director Rebecca Landis said. “When I was your age people would joke about hungry students.”

Landis also talked about how the people who use SNAP get really excited to buy whatever they want without breaking their food budget. 

This budget all depends on your income, as well as the amount of people in your household. This money gets deposited every month and can be used at the grocery store as well as the farmers market. 

The farmers market is special when it offers the double up food bucks. This allows users to double their spending at the farmers market up to $20 a day. 

Not all vendors accept this double up food bucks, as well as some vendors don’t accept SNAP in general. These vendors include nurseries, restaurants, soil products, and others that may not qualify as food options. 

To use this program, go to the farmers market information tent, which at the Wednesday market here in Corvallis is a purple tent. You swipe your Oregon Trail Card and they will hand you tokens to use around the market at different vendors. Your SNAP points will be turned into wooden tokens, soon to be coupon-like paper tickets instead. The double up food bucks are already paper and got rid of the tokens in general. 

The double up food bucks are even more restrictive than the Oregon Trail Card, as the intent is for fresh fruits and vegetables. You can buy fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, beans, herbs, and veggie starts, while the Oregon Trail Card can get you meats, dairy products like cheese, honey, grains, baked goods, and more. 

Something to pay attention to is the expiration date on these double up food bucks. Unlike the SNAP tokens, they expire at the end of each year, 12/31/23.

Landis said the Oregon Trail Cards were especially useful a few times in the past years, being the market crash in 2008, and more recently the global pandemic.

Landis mentioned how helpful these benefits were for a lot of people as prices were affected by this market crash, and then the pandemic made it hard for everyone around the world to access this, and SNAP made it easier for everyone.

You can find out more on SNAP at the Oregon Department of Human Services website – https://www.oregon.gov/odhs/food/Pages/snap.aspx


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