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Commissioner Scott Soares

Commissioner Scott Soares

Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)

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Mayor Menino at Dewey Square Event

Get outside and visit one of your local farmers’ markets to taste a bit of the summer harvest, from sweet strawberries and crisp arugula to fresh eggs and farm-raised meats. From my office on Causeway Street in Boston, I like to stroll down to the farmers’ market at Dewey Square. Here at DAR we’re working to make these fresh foods accessible to everyone.

On June 22, I was honored to stand with Boston Mayor Menino, Margaret Williams of The Food Project, and Edith Murnane of Community Servings at the Dewey Square market to show our support for improved access to farmers’ markets for low income residents. Julia Kehoe, Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance, and I were happy to present Donald Wiest of the Boston Public Market a grant of $2,500 to make the market accessible to individuals that participate in SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). This funding will enable the purchase of an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) machine that processes the benefits at the register.

This grant is one of 22 grants awarded across the state by DAR and the Department of Transitional Assistance. Additional funding was made possible by the Wholesome Wave Foundation and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation to enable SNAP recipients to receive two for one on each dollar that they spend at a farmers’ market, up to $10. SNAP benefits can be used at 47 markets across the state.

Farmers’ markets that accept SNAP benefits.

Find a farmers’ market near you.

The photo is of Julia, me and Mayor Menino making a corn and bean salsa. Here’s the recipe.

  • 3 ripe, red tomatoes diced
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 jalapeno or yellow chili pepper, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 T fresh oregano, chopped
  • 4 medium ears of cooked corn cut off the cob (about two cups)
  • 1 ½ cup cooked or canned (15 ounce can) black beans
  1. Wash and prepare vegetables and herbs. 
  2. Combine vegetables, except corn, with herbs in a large bowl. Mix well. 
  3. Stir in corn and black beans. 
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.

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