What Customers Are Saying

Statements made by customers and farmers at the Ohio Street Farmers’ Market, August 29, 2012

“Before [this program] we were eating Ramen noodles and boxed dinners… We would have much less food. Now, Morgan is eating tomatoes for snacks instead of fruit-rollups” – Emille, SNAP customer and mother of 19-month old Morgan

“I really like eating organic. These people [farmers] are great – we’ve made friends with them. Next summer I might go help in the field! I don’t have time to tend my own garden, although I used to have one with my kids, and we had a big compost pile.” – Pauline

“We were driving by and stopped – we think it’s great! Fresh fruit and vegetables are usually expensive and it’s hard to get them, so giving us half-price is incredible. Look at them [holding up produce] –­­ you can see what you’re getting and you know they’re fresh.” – Carol with her daughter Stacie and two-year-old granddaughter

“We’ve always gone to farmer’s markets. We came to this one last year but not as often as this year. Last year we came when we could afford to come, this year we come more often [with the ½ price EBT program], like 2-3 times per month. I like the girl on the end that makes that nice salad with tomatoes! We had never had golden tomatoes, but my daughter is doing the garden at Capehart and said ‘these are the really good ones’! We like every stand and we buy 1-2 things from each one. It’s nice to get stuff that’s made at someone’s home.

I think it’s [the EBT program] really good. It’s bringing in more people that wouldn’t usually come, which is good because they were missing out on the things you can’t get at the grocery store. I love that they started this here, since we used to have to go to the Hermon farmer’s market (and went to Orono farmer’s market once).” – Katie, and her daughter Sadie from Capehart

“Today was my first time coming here, and I’m really happy about the price. It is good quality produce for cheap. I will be back! I’ve been meaning to come for a while since I saw the sign. It’s nice that I can walk over.” – Ashley, pregnant mom from Birch Circle apartments

“This was our first time here. It’s absolutely wonderful! We get all these good, local fruits and vegetables that you can’t get at Walmart, you just can’t. Look at the fresh jellies and jams, and the fresher quality goats’ milk and cheese! My son loves fruits and veggies. We did our own garden….” – Wendy and her son aged 5, who walked down to the market

“I love the selection and the fact that you can use EBT. We wouldn’t have gotten half this much stuff before.” – Caleb, Wendy’s husband

“This is our first time here. We went to the WIC office and they gave us farmers’ market vouchers. We are very happy we found this, and would come back.  I like it! At the grocery store, we started buying from local farms too. RJ, our grandson, loves vegetables, especially broccoli!” – Candy and Rob, and their grandson RJ, age 2

“I think it’s a wonderful, wonderful idea. I go to the one [Bangor market] on Sunday too! Who knew people wanted to eat healthy when they’re given the opportunity? We volunteer at Eastern Maine AIDS Network, and we told them there about the hours and the ½ price program. This program is so needed too. This is one of the first farmers’ markets to accept EBT cards.” – Robin

“This program has helped us [farmers] to do what we do every week. It takes time to cook, bake, prepare and pick vegetables, and allowing EBT users to shop at Farmers’ Markets is one way for the government to both give farmers support as well as help people eat healthier. People skimp on fruits and vegetables, so if they are going to spend that much on produce, they can at least now buy it from local farmers and not from Mexico.“ — Rick

“It [the 25% match SNAP program] makes a big difference. Before, we were eating Ramen and boxed dinners you can cook in the oven because it’s easy. We would run out of SNAP with a week left without money, so we had to buy junk snacks to get through. We would have much less food, and would be getting snacks elsewhere for Morgan. Here, Morgan is eating tomatoes for snacks instead of fruit rollups.” – Emilee and Nick, EBT users and parents of 19-month old Morgan