SNAP Stretch, a program created through a partnership between the WVU Extension Service Family Nutrition Program and the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, allows customers using SNAP benefits to double or triple their spending power at 42 farmers markets and farm stands around West Virginia. For every dollar purchased with a SNAP/EBT card, the customer receives another dollar to spend on locally grown produce. If shoppers are over the age of 60 or are accompanied by a child, they receive an additional $2 for every dollar spent.
A 2020 grant from the Walmart Foundation allowed SNAP Stretch to expand into six additional counties. The grant funding also allowed markets to purchase EBT card readers, if they did not already have them. This alone will make markets more accessible for shoppers using WIC, senior vouchers, and credit and debit cards.
Due to overwhelming demand in 2020, likely created by the COVID-19 global pandemic, SNAP Stretch’s $150,000 budget was exhausted by July — just halfway through the growing season. The program was able to restart in October 2020 thanks to $100,000 in CARES Act funding, which came from Gov. Jim Justice’s office at the request of West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt.
By the numbers
SNAP Stretch is now accepted at farmers markets and farm stands in 31 West Virginia counties.
Over 13,000 families served
More than 13,000 families and seniors increased their buying power in 2020 using the SNAP Stretch program.
Over $500k to growers
The SNAP Stretch program generated more than a half-million dollars for West Virginia farmers in 2020.