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Food stamp spending at farmers' markets increased 500% in seven years


Farmer''s markets

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(NaturalNews) The number of people using The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has exploded in recent years. In 2008, 28,233,000 people were receiving food stamps, with a total expenditure of $37,639,640,000.

The USDA, which manages the redistribution program, reported that the total number of beneficiaries in 2014 had jumped to 46,537,000 and that the program now consumes more than $74 billion.

Is this path sustainable? Why are a frightening number of Americans resorting to SNAP? What will happen when the food supply production is overshadowed by a mob too numerous to feed?

The good news is that farmer's markets are growing in popularity as people draw near to the real origins of food abundance. According to a new press release by the USDA, food stamp spending at farmers markets is increasing tremendously. Consumers are beginning to re-learn where food actually comes from. The press release reports, "Since 2008, the number of SNAP-authorized farmers, roadside farm stands, and farmers markets grew dramatically, from 753 to in excess of 6,400."

"All Americans, including those participating in our nutrition assistance programs, need to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet," Concannon said. "America's farmers have an important role to play in addressing that need in communities across the country."

USDA providing farmer's markets with tools necessary to attract SNAP users

The USDA is now making it a "top priority" to provide wireless equipment to "qualifying farmers and farmers markets" so food stamp beneficiaries can access more nutritious, local foods.

In the past seven years, food stamp spending at farmer's markets has increased by more than 500 percent!

This is a powerful shift because it indicates that consumers are becoming re-acquainted with nutritious whole food and the people who know how to produce them. As more people flock to farmer's markets, they can catch a glimpse of the real food growing and food sharing opportunities that await them. The SNAP program does allow beneficiaries to purchase seeds so consumers can learn how to become producers and grow their own food.

Talking with farmers at the market allows people to share growing techniques, natural pest control methods, and other useful information. In these moments, farmers and customers can develop a personal relationship with one another. Whether customers pay with cash or SNAP, it's a win-win scenario because people are reconnecting with one another and the true source of food abundance.

Consumers moving closer toward food self-reliance?

True abundance doesn't come from resources redistributed through government safety net programs. These programs might help some people who are truly down and out and have nowhere else to turn, but these programs also inadvertently steer many fully capable people away from the satisfaction and responsibility of working for or growing one's own food. There would be less desire to take advantage of these resource redistribution programs if communities taught food self-reliance and took advantage of all of the land space that could be used for growing nutritious food.

For example, how many churches have large, unused lots that could be used to cultivate large harvests of diverse crops for people who are hungry, malnourished, or sick? How many schools could take advantage of their empty lots and teach children how to grow food and medicine?

The abundance is waiting to be reaped. Are people willing to step out of the box and be the change they want to see in the world? It's time for church leaders and members, teachers and students to get their hands dirty. Everyone can do their part without relying on politicians in Washington to solve their problems.

As food stamp spending increases at farmer's markets around the country, it is apparent that people are coming closer to and craving the answers to their hunger, their sickness, and their poverty.

The answers can be found within each and every one of us, but are we willing to let that power express itself?

Sources for this article include:
CNSNews.com

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