Incentive for SNAP participants

Since our launch in 2006, CAFM has been a mission-based non-profit that connects Cape Ann residents with healthy food, supports local farmers and food producers, and partners with and supports local community agencies. CAFM was one of the first farmers’ markets on the Northshore to facilitate advocacy, outreach, and education to the eligible food access population, and to offer onsite acceptance of federal and state nutrition assistance programs -- SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps), HIP (Healthy Initiatives Program), WIC (supplemental food for low-income mothers and children) and SFMNP (the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program). Together we call this our “Healthy Food Access” program.

Last year CAFM was forced to leave our home at Stage Fort Park. We scrambled to design a pre-order only, drive-thru market at the O’Maley School to provide a place for our farmers to distribute their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) produce shares. This resulted in a decline from over 30 vendors to just four who had the wherewithal to support online orders. 2020 vendor fees (which normally represent one-third of our income) were off by 90%, and we had to cancel our fall/winter markets and our major annual fundraiser (both in 2020 and Spring 2021). Unfortunately, CAFM is starting the 2021 season with a significant budget shortfall as a result.

Over the past few years, CAFM has been pleased to be able to offer a $5 per market incentive for SNAP recipients to shop at our farmers market. We are asking Awesome Gloucester for assistance to continue providing that incentive. This year the City has decided to move us to Harbor Loop which will bring us closer to many low-income families who are eligible to use food nutrition programs. We therefore hope and expect that more customers will use those benefits. With your support, we would like to continue our SNAP incentive in 2021 and would be happy to make an announcement that the bonus is sponsored by Awesome Gloucester.

Funded by Gloucester, MA (May 2021)