Buying by the Box – Dale City Farmers Market

Nichole is shopping at DCFM on a beautiful Sunday morning with her husband and three children. Mom and Dad are both massage therapists and run their own business. They love the market and come weekly, sometimes to just walk around if there is no shopping that needs to be done. She is enthusiastic about the way the Virginia Fresh Match program benefits her family and other SNAP families within the community.

Nichole does all the cooking for her family. She is passionate about healthy, whole foods cooking and ferments and preserves everything. She buys her produce by the box when she can because it is more economical. Today she buys a big bag of assorted hot and sweet peppers to make a fermented chili pepper relish. She explains that last week, she fully stocked up on vegetables, so this week, with the last of her benefits, she is purchasing a box of apples and other fruit to make mead, cider, and other fruit ferments.

Because it is the end of the month, her SNAP benefits have mostly run out. “Sometimes it seems like a lot of money, but it is not enough to feed our family”. Still, “I love that I can use my SNAP benefits at the farmers market and get the match. It makes a big difference because the only thing I buy at the market is fruits and vegetables.” The match encourages her to shop at the market instead of the grocery store – she can double her money for the healthy foods that she feeds her family, and the quality of the produce is so much better than what she can get anywhere else.


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