Encouraging Better Nutrition for Individuals and Families: SNAP Resources

Guest post by Karen Kappert

SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is a government-funded initiative aimed at preventing hunger and encouraging better nutrition. SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low income individuals and families. SNAP can be used like a debit card to buy eligible food items from authorized retailers – once accepted, you will be given an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card which looks exactly like a debit card!

ebt card

What a typical EBT card looks like. Retrieved from http://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/

To find out if you are eligible to participate in the program, follow this link to take an eligibility test.

If you already use SNAP, here are some resources within Virginia that can help you in choosing healthier foods and using your EBT card to its full potential:
– The Virginia Cooperative Extension offers a Family Nutrition Program which helps families who are eligible for SNAP or WIC plan their meals with health and budget in mind. To find a program near you, click here and find the county which is closest to you. For more guides and tips on healthy eating, visit the following sites:

– 20 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store:
– Vegetables: How Much Do I Need? 
– Fruit: How Much Do I Need?
– Here’s To Your Family’s Health:
– Heart Healthy Eating:

There are many local offices in Virginia you can contact with any questions or for more information. To find the SNAP office closest to you, click here.

SNAP at Farmers Markets
You can now use your EBT card at many farmers markets in Virginia – some will even offer incentives such as doubling your dollars. Listed below are the Virginia markets that accept SNAP:

Abingdon Farmers Market, Abingdon
Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market, Alexandria
Big Stone Gap Farmers Market, Big Stone Gap
Blacksburg Farmers Market, Blacksburg
Bluefield, VA Farmers Market, Bluefield
Charlottesville City Market, Charlottesville
Farmers in the Park, Charlottesville
Covington Farmers Market, Covington
Danville Farmers Market, Danville
Floyd Farmers Market, Floyd
Fredericksburg City Farmers Market, Fredericksburg
Spotsylvania Farmers Market, Fredericksburg
Glade Spring Farmers Market, Glade Spring
Harrisonburg Farmers Market, Harrisonburg
Lakeside Farmers Market, Henrico
Rockbridge Farmers Market, Lexington
Lynchburg Community Market, Lynchburg
My Manakin Market (2 locations), Manakin-Sabot
Highland Farmers Market, Monterey
Mount Jackson Farmers Market, Mount Jackson
Nickelsville Farmers Market, Nickelsville
Five Points Community Farm Market, Norfolk
Norton Friends & Farmers Market, Norton
Salem Farmers Market, Salem
Clinch River Farmers Market, St. Paul
Stuart Farmers Market, Stuart
The Carytown Farmers Market, Richmond
South of the James Market, Richmond
Byrd House Market at William Byrd Community House, Richmond
Virginia Street Farmers Market, Richmond
Vinton Farmers Market, Vinton
Virginia Beach Farmers Market, Virginia Beach
Williamsburg Farmers Market, Williamsburg
Wytheville Farmers Market, Wytheville

To look for markets that offer SNAP in other areas, use this USDA map! (click the tab “Payments Accepted” then be sure to select “SNAP”)

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