By Linda Nguyen
SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a government assistance program designed to help low-income households buy food.
“Basically, it will open up a new opportunity for those who are on what used to be called food stamps,” said Eastborough, Kan., senior Kylie Aspegren, who is also Campus Kitchen’s Farmers Market coordinator. “They will be able to have fresh produce.”
Jonathan Bruce, the campus garden manager and coordinator for Baylor, who has been training student volunteers to help with the program, said this is a good opportunity for students to help out Campus Kitchen and the Farmers Market.
“Campus Kitchen has been volunteering at the Farmers Market since the beginning,” Bruce said. “This is a very easy way for Campus Kitchen volunteers to help at the Farmers Market.”
Bruce said student and community volunteers helping with the program will be setting up welcome booths at the Farmers Market every Saturday beginning Nov. 10. Volunteers will also share information about the Farmers market and SNAP at the welcome booths.
“They will be setting up welcome booths and they will be accepting SNAP, but also credit/debit transactions and handing out tokens in exchange for that,” Bruce said.
Beginning Nov. 10, all Farmers Market vendors will begin accepting tokens in addition to cash.
Bruce said volunteers will swipe the credit, debit or Lone Star card and give tokens to customers that they can use at the vendors’ booths.
Campus Kitchen has had three training sessions for Baylor students and members of the Waco community who are interested in helping with SNAP at the Farmers Market.
Aspegren said Campus Kitchen’s involvement with the program coincides with its goal to fight hunger and malnutrition in the Waco community.
“A lot of what we do is rescue food from the dining halls and give it to different organizations like Salvation Army,” Aspegren said. “We cook food every weekend and we distribute it to the Waco Family Abuse Center and Mission Waco. A lot of the food we give out is from the food bank, and you don’t get much fresh produce there. This gives them the opportunity to get fresh produce. It’s all about getting healthier and more nutritious food to low-income families.”
Students who are interested in helping out with the SNAP program for Campus Kitchen should contact Aspegren at Kylie_Aspegren@baylor.edu.