Just this week, our neighbors to the north at WashPRIG produced a report called Apples to Twinkies. The report, downloadable here, highlights an issue that runs contrary to our belief in healthy, local foods: Federal agriculture subsidies underwrite 17 of 37 ingredients found in the junk food formerly known as the Twinkie. Apples, the only fresh fruit or vegetable to garner significant federal subsidies, received only 1/28th of the money spent on subsidizing Twinkies.
Food policy, subsidies, how and how much government should be involved in agriculture – these are multi-faceted issues that will continue to be debated. As democracy works through these debates, the Oregon based Fresh Exchange program is taking a direct approach to balancing the nutritional scale by matching SNAP benefits used at area markets. With each matching dollar raised and spent at area markets families have more options for local foods and money is spent directly with area food growers and producers, helping support Pacific NW agricultural communities.
You can learn more about the Fresh Exchange program by downloading this SNAPBrochure. You can contribute to Fresh Exchange here and have your SNAP benefits matched at our King, Kenton, Buckman and NW Markets.