IWFM Eat Well Initiative

The IWFM Eat Well Initiative is intended to help accomplish one of our primary goals- to increase our community's access to good, fresh, local foods. We are proud to accept SNAP Benefits (also known as food stamps) at the market to allow everyone in our community to shop at the IWFM.

To use your SNAP benefits at the market, simply visit the IWFM Information table. There, we will swipe your Hoosier Works Card and process a transaction for the dollar amount you prefer. You will then be given Eat Well Tokens to spend with any vendor who sells SNAP-eligible items (all foods intended to be eaten at home, including produce, cheese, meats, honey, bread, dairy products, plants and seeds; any food item that is hot and ready to eat is not eligible). Our vendors offer a variety of nutritious foods, and we encourage you to explore the products they offer.

The IWFM is able to match SNAP purchases! Through donations and grants, IWFM is able to double your purchasing power! For fruit, vegetable, plants, honey, and maple syrup, customers can use Fresh Bucks to match their SNAP purchases for these items. For meat, dairy, eggs, bread, and other foods, the IWFM has a limited number of funds available for Eat Well tokens that will match these purchases as well!

If you have questions or would like more information about the Eat Well Initiative, contact us at eatwell@indywinterfarmersmarket.org. We can always use your thoughts, support, and ideas on how to make the program better.

History of the Eat Well Initiative

In the 2011-2012 season, the IWFM began the Eat Well Initiative. This two-parted program was intended to increase access to good food in the Indianapolis community, especially for those who are underserved and most vulnerable to food scarcity. Another goal of the program was to increase sales for our vendors and to make the good food they provide available to more folks in Indianapolis.

One part of the program was called Veggie Bucks. Funded through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant program, these green vouchers were distributed through community partners including Wishard Health, Nutrition and Dietary Services, The Project School, The Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center, Indianapolis Senior Center, and the Indy YMCA. Each voucher recipient received up to $30 to purchase Indiana-grown crops, such as fruits, vegetables, produce, greens, herbs, grains, honey and maple syrup. Vendors who accepted Veggie Bucks displayed a green sign at their booth. Then, customers brought their vouchers to market and spent them like cash at vendors' booths. Over the course of the season, we had over $3700 spent at the IWFM in Veggie Bucks!

The second part of the Eat Well Initiative was called Eat Well Bucks. IWFM staff created this voucher program to be able to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, also known as EBT or food stamps). These yellow vouchers were distributed only at the IWFM info table. Customers swiped their Hoosier Works cards and received vouchers to spend at the IWFM. Vendors who accepted Eat Well Bucks displayed a yellow sign to indicate to customers that they accept the vouchers. Over the course of the 2011-2012 season, we had over $800 spent in Eat Well Bucks at the IWFM! We look forward to seeing this program continue to grow.