The White Rock Local Market will now accept food stamps. It’s the first farmers market in Dallas to do so.

By embracing the SNAP Lone Star supplemental food assistance program, WRLM is broadening its customer base, market founders say, opening up a source for healthy, local foods to residents receiving SNAP assistance.

“The global economic downturn has had a dramatic effect on many households in our community, and that’s reflected in the big increase in SNAP roles,” says WRLM co-founder Sarah Perry. “We’re excited about the opportunity open up this market to our neighbors who participate in the SNAP program, and we’re proud to be the first farmers market in Dallas County to provide this opportunity.”

Supporting the decision, she notes that “more than 58,000 households in Dallas County receive food stamps, a figure that represents a dramatic 29 percent national growth in SNAP roles last year, according to recent Census and USDA data,” adding that farmers markets accepting food stamps has grown rapidly.

Great move—once I interviewed a doctor at Healing Hands Ministry in Lake Highlands who told me the biggest health risk in the lower-socioeconomic/uninsured groups is obesity—education coupled with the increased availability of healthy options can make a big difference when it comes to public health. It’s good for the farmers and vendors because they can sell more.

According to its founders, the White Rock Local Market has enjoyed great success in our neighborhood and is popular among regional farmers and producers too.

“On an average day the market has from 30 to 50 vendors and 2,000 visitors. The market is a community asset, and the Lone Star SNAP project will have a positive impact on the health and economic challenges facing our society.”

It runs the second and fourth Saturdays of the month outside Green Spot on Buckner. Here’s a recent Advocate interview with the founders.