How can you get MORE local fruits and vegetables on a limited income?
With Maine Harvest Bucks!Use SNAP/EBT at participating locations and get bonus fruits and vegetables!
Maine Harvest Bucks can be redeemed for locally produced fruits and vegetables, either fresh or processed with no salt, sugar or fat added. (Apple cider counts!) SNAP/EBT shoppers receive bonus local fruits and vegetables for every SNAP dollar spent.
Maine Harvest Bucks are known as “nutrition incentives,” which increase the value of federal nutrition assistance dollars (SNAP/EBT) spent at participating farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture farms, and retail outlets that sell local produce.
Watch our video for a quick introduction to Maine Harvest Bucks!
Nutrition incentives serve everyone:
- SNAP shoppers can buy more healthy food
- Maine farmers gain new customers
- More food dollars stay in the local economy
- Maine farmers gain new customers
Find MHB at different locations:
Farmers’ markets: Seasonal markets offering a variety of fruits, vegetables, breads, meats, cheese, and so much more. In Maine, farmers’ markets have anywhere from 2 to 50 vendors who sell products that they have produced. Most farmers’ markets are open spring through fall and a handful of markets stay open during the winter in nearby indoor locations. Visit each Maine Harvest Bucks market’s listing on the farmers’ market page for details on time and place, and peruse mainefarmersmarkets.org for a complete statewide database of farmers’ markets.
Farm stands: A single-vendor market with fresh produce or other products grown or produced by that vendor (or sometimes aggregated from multiple vendors). Farm stands are located in a variety of urban and rural settings including on-farm, at businesses/organizations, or in residential neighborhoods. Farm stands are generally seasonal. Check in with each nonprofit organization or farm for information about hours, details, and locations.
CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture): Also known as a farm share, traditional CSAs ask customers to pay a lump sum in the beginning of the season and receive a selection of whatever’s in season once a week. There are many different types of CSA’s: from pre-boxed shares available weekly, to a “debit style” draw down model where you can shop at a farm stand or farmers’ market, or even “full diet” CSA’s that offer meats, breads, dairy, etc. in addition to produce. Check in with each farm for how it works with EBT processing, as well as pickup hours, details, and locations.
Food hubs: Food hubs aggregate products from a variety of farms. They often sell weekly boxes of whatever is in season, similar to a traditional CSA. They tend to offer a large selection of products, from vegetable boxes to meat or dairy shares, and often operate year-round at a variety of locations and schedules.
Mobile markets: Mobile markets aggregate a wide variety of products from multiple farms and then bring the food to convenient locations. Market operators redesign and renovate a vehicle both for transporting products and materials efficiently and for promoting and generating excitement about the market. Vehicles can include school buses, box trucks, or bicycle carts, and customers may shop inside or outside of the vehicle. Mobile markets typically follow a weekly schedule of market stops and can serve multiple cities, towns, and counties. Choose what you want when the market comes to you, often at workplaces or in neighborhoods.
Retail stores: A more traditional shopping experience, retail stores are often open daily with long hours. Retail stores frequently offer products beyond food, and aggregate from a variety of farms. Produce at retail stores is not always locally-produced, although all our Maine Harvest Bucks stores offer a large selection of local food.