By implementing an electronic benefits transaction (EBT) machine at the farmers' market, individuals from Colorado's Wheat Ridge and neighboring communities can use SNAP benefits to purchase fruits and vegetables at their local farmers' market. This collaborative effort has proved to be an economic boom to the community: every $1 of SNAP benefits individuals spend at Wheat Ridge Farmers' markets generates an additional $1.75 of spending in Wheat Ridge.
Through a partnership with the Jefferson Conservation District LiveWell Wheat Ridge (LWWR) has been coordinating an extraordinary outreach effort to address healthy food access for low-income community members. From newspaper ads to door knocking, LWWR has been reaching out in low-income communities to attend the Farmers' Market. In addition to outreach, LWWR volunteers and partners offer food stamp education, food selection education, and how to use the EBT system at the Farmers' Market to support those who have decided to come. They have found through education comes increased access and a decrease in stigmas that come with being on food stamps. As a result they have seen a 300% increase in EBT transactions at the Farmers' Market in only four months. LWWR staff have observed that most of what is being purchased are fruits and vegetables and have evidence to show the program is in fact increasing access to healthy food for those who are participating.