SAMM, the Seacoast Area Mobile Market, was the first mobile market program of its kind in New Hampshire and is the newest program in a larger Mobile Market consortium that spans New England and is generously funded by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund.
The goal of SAMM is to provide access to local foods in communities within our service region that may lack farmers’ markets of their own, have high concentrations of low-income or at-risk residents, are designated as being at higher risk for food insecurity, or have a reportedly high number of residents with lack of access to consistent means of transportation. In addition to these community stops, SAMM will also service a small number of employers in our region as an employee benefit.
Aligning with our goal to provide greater access to local foods in all of our Seacoast communities, SAMM is also aimed at spreading and increasing the number of sustainable agricultural businesses in these areas. By sourcing products as locally to market stops as possible, we hope to incentivize and support small scale agricultural businesses in their growth.
In similar fashion to Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP program at farmers’ markets, SAMM accepts EBT/SNAP benefits for purchases and also runs incentive programs that are aimed at helping low-income individuals stretch their dollars at markets and purchase more fresh, local and healthy food. SAMM accepts SNAP tokens as well as Granite State Market Match (fruit and vegetable coupons) that SNAP customers may receive at traditional markets. Rather than receiving matching coupons for purchases, SAMM customers receive an automatic 50% discount on purchases of fruits and vegetables.
Our 2020 season has changed due to COVID-19
This year, we’ve shifted the focus of SAMM to help meet the needs of people most affected by COVID-19. We’re purchasing fresh food from farmers that have lost sales outlets and are donating that food to area food pantries and senior housing communities. This enables people who have no other option of getting fresh local food to their table an equitable opportunity to enjoy the local harvest. During the season, we’re reaching over 400 households per week. Thanks to our partners for the season: NH Charitable Foundation, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Gather Food Pantry, and Tuckaway Farm.
To follow SAMM and get updates on our stops and other information, follow us on Instagram @SAMMVAN and view our page, “Shop with SAMM.” If you are interested in supporting our program through volunteering, please contact Celeste Gingras, SAMM Coordinator, at [email protected] Financial contributions are also greatly appreciated and help to further our important mission. Donations made be made securely online at this link. If you are interested in having a stop in your area or in contracting with SAMM on behalf of your business, please contact Celeste Gingras, at [email protected].
To learn more about Harvard Pilgrim’s Healthy Food Fund, visit their website. More information about the initiatives of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation may be found through this link.