CLEARWATER - Families looking to stretch their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars will see their food benefits increase when the Clearwater Gateway Farmers Market begins offering "Market Double Dollars" on Saturday, March 23.
At the market, $10 in SNAP dollars will buy $20 of eligible foods at vendor booths that accept SNAP and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). Eligible foods include fruits, vegetables, breads, dairy, meat, seeds and plants that grow fruit.
There's a limit of $10 in bonus Market Double Dollars allowed, which will double to $20 in purchases. They may be purchased in denominations of $1, $3 or $5 and are only accepted at vendors whose signage identifies that they accept them.
Market Double Dollars are available from March 23 until the market closes for the season on May 25. The Clearwater Gateway Farmers Market is open from October to May.
The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 1200 block of Cleveland Street, at the corner of Missouri Avenue. The market focuses on international, culturally diverse foods, crafts and entertainment. Prospective vendors can call 776-7932 for an application.
Steel drum band Panakolada will entertain March 23 and the Air National Guard Band of the South performs March 30 as a salute to the nation's military.
SNAP/EBT at the Clearwater Gateway Farmers Market was assisted by the Pinellas County Health Department's Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant to encourage healthier food choices and more physical activity. For information about the Pinellas County Health Department, go to www.PinellasHealth.com.
For more information about the Double Dollars program, call CPPW Nutrition Consultant Rocio Bailey at 582-2514.
SNAP is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that provides food to more than 46 million struggling Americans each month. For information about SNAP benefits, including how to apply, visit www.fns.usda.gov/snap.