Nearly 30 vendors at the 2nd Street Market, 600 E. Second St. in downtown Dayton, now accept SNAP/food assistance Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) tokens thanks to a partnership with Homefull, a nonprofit organization working to end homelessness. Participating vendors offer fresh food items, such as produce, dairy products, meat, specialty foods and bread.
This new partnership addresses a significant community need: According to Homefull and area news outlets, 23 percent of households in the Dayton area struggle with food hardship — the fourth highest rate in the United States. When compared to the rest of Ohio, Montgomery County has a higher proportion of residents who receive public benefits yet a lower number of SNAP/EBT and WIC-authorized vendors.
“The 2nd Street Market helps Five Rivers MetroParks serve as the region’s conservation leader by providing our community convenient access to local food, which is less taxing on the environment and often healthier,” said Market Manager Jimmy Harless. “This partnership with Homefull helps the Market provide new customers with more options for stocking their kitchens with locally grown and produced food.”
The partnership is funded by a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture aimed at increasing SNAP/EBT redemption at farmers markets in Montgomery, Greene and Preble counties.
Also new at the 2nd Street Market on Saturdays, Homefull Solutions will sell fresh produce grown by clients at its microfarm, located on the grounds of the men’s Gateway shelter on Gettysburg Avenue. Homefull Solutions also operates a community supported agriculture (CSA) program and The Market at Wright Stop Plaza.
“We’re excited to make it more convenient for our clients and the community to purchase fresh, healthy, local produce,” said Tina Patterson, Homefull’s chief executive officer. “This partnership also provides our clients with access to paying jobs, teaches them productive skills through meaningful activity and improves self-esteem.”
The 2nd Street Market is open Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 40 vendors offer such kitchen staples as bread, milk, cheese, meats, oils, flour and more. The Market was named Best Farmers Market on the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Best of Ohio Readers’ Ballot from Ohio Magazine. The list of winners was generated by votes cast by Ohio Magazine’s website visitors each fall. Learn more about the 2nd Street Market at metroparks.org/localfood.