SECTION 1. Chapter 128 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2E the following section:-
Section 2F. (a)There shall be within the department of agriculture a farmers market healthy alternative incentive program. The program shall provide that for every dollar of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, established pursuant to the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, 7 U.S.C. section 2011 hereinafter referred to as SNAP, redeemed at a farmers market by a SNAP recipient, the recipient shall receive a matching benefit of $1, up to $20 per week to purchase healthy fresh food from a farmers’ market.
For each matching benefit received from a farmers market vendor, the vendor shall be reimbursed from the Farmers Market Fund as established by this section.
For the purposes of this section “farmers' market” shall mean a public market occurring multiple times per year operating for the primary purpose of connecting and mutually benefiting Massachusetts farmers, communities and shoppers and selling items that have been produced by a local farm directly to the public.
(b) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund, to be administered by the commissioner, which shall be known as the Farmers’ Market SNAP Match Fund. The Fund shall consist of all revenues from public and private sources as appropriations, gifts, grants and donations and from the federal government as reimbursements, grants-in-aid or other receipts to further the purposes of the Fund in accordance with this section.
(c ) The department shall apply for any available federal program such as Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grants administered by the United States Department of Agriculture to provide matching benefits to be deposited in the Fund. A farmers’ market shall have first priority for participation in such grant program.
SECTION 2. The department of agriculture shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the program set forth in section 1.
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