On Saturday mornings at the Missoula Farmers Market, you’ll be sure to find Ka Vang and his family behind a large, colorful spread of leafy greens, beets, carrots, onions, kohlrabi, and more. For the past 25 years, they have provided Missoulians with locally grown produce from their small farm at the Missoula Farmers Market. Their farm, or garden as Ka Vang prefers to call it, is located in Missoula County and is a fun hobby for him and his family. He works a full-time job away from his garden, so their operation is small, but it produces fresh veggies in abundance.
Ka Vang is all smiles as he looks at the array of fresh produce piled neatly on the table. The vibrant orange carrots and the green and purple kohlrabi are their best sellers, especially in the early season. He only sells fresh produce, which means that he gets quite a few customers using Double SNAP Dollars incentives.
Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) helps food-insecure Montanans afford more fresh, local produce by doubling the purchasing power of their SNAP benefits. For every dollar spent on SNAP-eligible foods at participating farmers markets or farm shares, SNAP recipients receive an extra dollar to spend on fresh, local produce. This one-for-one dollar match has been really helpful for Ka Vang’s sales. Since the Missoula Farmers Market began offering Double SNAP Dollars, Ka Vang says he has seen a boost in his income. For the past several seasons, SNAP and DSD purchases have made up 30-40 percent of his market sales! He says that without this incentive, it would be hard for them to survive for the whole market season.
In addition to providing a boost to their income, Ka Vang also says the Double SNAP Dollars program is really important for the Missoula community. Without it, purchasing fresh produce would be more challenging for many of his customers. “The program helps us and our customers – we get some extra income, and they are able to get fresh vegetables from our garden,” he says.
Be sure to check out the Missoula Farmers Market on Saturday mornings from 8am-12:30pm and Tuesday evenings from 5pm-7pm to see what delicious items Ka Vang and other vendors are selling! Ka Vang loves getting to know and building relationships with his customers, so stop by his stand to say hi.
To learn more about Double SNAP Dollars, visit CFAC’s Double SNAP Dollar website, DoubleDollarsMT.com, or email Kim Gilchrist, Food Access Program Manager, at email@example.com.