MIAMI – A ribbon cutting took place Thursday to mark the start of a pilot program to accept government food benefits at the Jackson Green Market, a farmers' market on the grounds of the Jackson Memorial Hospital here.
With the pilot, the Jackson Green Market, becomes the only farmers' market in Florida authorized to accept the WIC Fresh Fruit and Vegetable vouchers. Shoppers can also use their SNAP EBT cards to purchase fresh produce at a discount of $5 off their total purchase. The Jackson Green Market, open year-round on Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., features locally grown and organic produce, potted herbs, fresh dairy products, prepared foods, baked goods, local honey, plants, orchids and fresh cut flowers.
The pilot, supported by a $60,000 grant from Health Foundation of South Florida, seeks to provide lower-income shoppers with more nutritious selections and improved health outcomes by increasing their access to fresh fruits and vegetables. With its proximity to the hospital's onsite WIC office and help from students at University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, the pilot will assess SNAP and WIC clients' receptivity to using their benefits at a farmers' market.
On hand at the event were U.S. Department of Agriculture Regional Administrator Don Arnette; City of Miami Commissioner Wifredo Gort; Florida Department of Children & Families Secretary George Sheldon; Food Research and Action Center’s Crystal FitzSimons; Florida IMPACT Executive Director Debra Susie; Health Foundation of South Florida President and Chief Executive Officer Steven E. Marcus; University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Lee Sanders; and Chef Allen Susser.