ATLANTA -- For people relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), the budget is tight and it can be challenging to buy food that's good for you.
But because of a national non-profit, there is a way to afford fruits and vegetables for your family. And that organization is actually is doubling the incentive to be healthy.
Cathy Jefferson is trying to keep a clean diet after a battle with cancer. To accomplish that goal, she's been trying to buy more locally-grown produce at area farmers markets.
"I can tell a difference in the taste of the food," Jefferson said.
She also wants her grandchildren eating well.
"They all love to eat, but being healthy is something new to them," the grandmother of eight said.
It's new to them because they're now shopping at farmers markets and taking advantage of a non-profit program calledWholesome Wave. The goal is to improve access to fresh, healthy locally grown produce and make it affordable.
"I think it's a blessing," Jefferson explained.
Every EBT dollar is doubled.
"So if a family comes and swipes $10 on their EBT card, Wholesome Wave matches it for another $10. And they're given $20 to spend at the market on fresh local food," said Katie Hayes, Executive-Director of Community Farmers Markets.
Shoppers can purchase fruit, baked goods, breads, vegetables and even the plants that produce the vegetables.
The shopper makes out and so does the farmer. Wholesome Wave covers that extra dollar for these vendors, half of whom are urban farmers. Beyond the market, this is a growing community.
"People are hungry for more than just good food. They're hungry for community, interaction, they're hungry for real relationships with the people that live around them," said Judith Winfrey. Winfrey is a farmer and on Wholesome Wave Georgia's Board of Directors.
At the East Atlanta Farmers Marketevery Thursday night, they're creating that community with the area for dining and play, a learning garden and space for artists to express themselves