The Open Air Market at the Phoenix Public Market is one of the many spots where SNAP customers can use Double Up Food Bucks! On Saturdays, you can head to this market to Double Up on fresh fruits and veggies. Here’s what members of the community had to say about the Double Up program, and how buying local food is beneficial for everyone.
The market manager for Phoenix Public Market, Sarah Matlin, said it’s great to see how shoppers are excited that Double Up Food Bucks Arizona helps them stretch their food dollars to buy more produce. She said Double Up Food Bucks is bringing in new customers to the market.
“It’s been amazing to see how it has recruited new customers here,” she said. “There are families that come every single week, and they were introduced to the market through Double Up Food Bucks. Now it’s their routine, and they come here to get their groceries.”
Matlin said she also likes how Double Up puts the spotlight on farmers. With the program, more dollars go directly to local growers. She said it encourages them to put more of an emphasis on the fact that their produce was grown in Arizona and it’s seasonal.
Emphasizing locally grown food is necessary to maintain a healthy community, Matlin said.
“If we don’t have people buying locally grown produce, we won’t have local growers, and that is absolutely essential to the survival and health of our community.”
She said most of the growers featured at the Phoenix Public Market come in from less than 10 miles away. This hyper locality gives the market’s surrounding communities a more reliable source of food.
“Not only is it providing jobs and all of the economic benefits, but also vitality,” Matlin said. “We can’t always rely on stuff that is being shipped in.”
As an added bonus, she said that shopping locally gives customers “all the fun things you can’t necessarily get just shopping at the store.”
Derek Christensen of Steadfast Farm in Queen Creek, AZ echoed Matlin’s sentiments about the impact of buying locally.
“It’s better for the local economy,” Christensen said.
The produce Steadfast Farm provides at the market is harvested the day before. Also, all of their food is certified organic. This can’t always be said for non-local food.
Christensen said that when consumers buy locally sourced food, they get to build a relationship with their food.
“It’s easier to see where your food is actually coming from,” he said. “You can make that connection with your food source.”