Food Access Programs Support Healthy Families and Strengthen Local Food Systems

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of food access programs at Boulder County Farmers Markets! In partnership with Boulder County Public Health and Nourish Colorado, among other key partners and government agencies, we have grown our food access programs to increase access to fresh, locally grown produce to Boulder County families over the past decade.

What began as a pilot program in 2014 to double the value of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) dollars at the market, has multiplied to address food insecurity for even more of our neighbors throughout our service area and the State of Colorado as a whole. Last year, Boulder County Farmers Markets’ Food Access programs supported 153 farmers, ranchers, and food producers in 2023 totalling $564,007 for local agriculture. While high costs of living, exacerbated by inflation, continues to impact local families trying to make ends meet, these programs continue to be a vital resource both for our community of customers as well as the farmers growing nutrient-dense food for their neighbors.

Double Up Food Bucks (SNAP)

Customers who use SNAP benefits at the farmers market will receive a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $20 per visit to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. This means customers could purchase $40 worth of produce and only spend $20 of their own benefits. To use this program at the farmers market, go to the orange information tent, swipe your EBT card and receive physical food bucks that work like cash with market vendors. To use this program in the online market, simply select SNAP at checkout and your Double Up Food Bucks will be applied and subtracted from your total owed.

In addition to answering questions and purchasing merchandise, market staff at the info booth assist customers in receiving SNAP and WIC bucks at the farmers market.
Shopping with WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)

Shoppers who are participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infant, and Children (WIC) may receive $80 a month to spend at the farmers market. Twenty of these dollars will be WIC bucks, which can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and eggs. The remaining $60 will be WIC veggie bucks, which can only be used to purchase fruits and vegetables.

If you receive Women, Infant, and Children benefits but are unable to make it to the in-person farmers markets, you can sign up to receive weekly free home deliveries of local food. Each Tuesday recipients receive a bag of local produce, plus an add-on of eggs, beans, quinoa, or an additional vegetable. Sign-up periods open every three months.

WIC CSA bags get delivered to recipients by volunteers.
Farm to Early Care and Education

In partnership with Boulder County Public Health, this program connects fresh, local food to childcare centers and preschools in the county. Recipients can use the produce however they wish, but have reported a variety of uses from meals and snacks to art projects. This exposes our youngest community members to what is in season – and gives them the opportunity to decorate pumpkins, eat fresh peaches, and more!

Community Partnerships

We partner with local organizations, including OUR Center and CU Basic Needs Center, to provide larger quantities of locally-grown food to food pantries and family resource centers in our area. Last year, our Older Adults program worked with local senior living facilities to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to 67 households living on fixed incomes.

Additionally, due to the nature of fresh produce, there are times when leftover fruits and vegetables are at-risk of going to waste. Our partners at Boulder Food Rescue and Longmont Food Rescue pick up donations from each farmers market to get more fresh produce to our neighbors. Donations from our Food Hub are taken to the Longmont Community Fridges. These public fridges are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and give folks agency to choose what food they want to take at any given time.

Next time you are at the Boulder or Longmont Farmers Markets, look for signs on each tent about what kinds of currency they accept, and visit the Info Booth to learn more about how you might benefit from our Food Access Programs. Visit for a full overview of our programs.

Get something fresh in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about market news and events.