MIDDLETOWN >> As organizers rally to remedy less funding for this year’s farmers market, their initial concern — finding money to run the overall program — has shifted to the hope that more donors will help fill the gap.
The North End Farmers Market, now in its ninth year, depends on the Double Dollars program to help low-income families stretch their SNAP, WIC or Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program allotments by doubling their value when it’s spent on fruits and vegetables.
Double Dollars is disbursed through End Hunger Connecticut.
It works like this: “They shop with SNAP as usual — but get their purchasing power doubled, in the form of tokens or coupons called ‘nutrition incentives,’” according to its website.
This year, according to North End Action Team board member Yasmine Kuytu, the city was unable to provide funding as it has in the past, which left organizers scrambling to raise the money necessary for the market to continue.
NEAT found out late in the year that it wasn’t going to get financial support it was counting on to reach the $25,000 needed to run the program. Council members had to pick and choose between programs to support, and this year opted for senior meals, Kuytu said.
“[That’s] generally a relatively comfortable amount for operational costs with at least a bare minimum of Double Dollars,” Kuytu said.
Not only was that cut unexpected, Kuytu said, but it set in motion a desperate search for other sources of money.
“It’s the last blow, the last thing you need with all the other challenges that we’re currently facing, and concerns…
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