SAMM, the Seacoast Area Mobile Market, was launched in 2016 and was the first mobile market program of its kind in New Hampshire. It is part of 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 create a stronger connection between people of the Seacoast region and the bounty of food that is produced right in their community. We achieve this in the following ways:
1.) Increase access to locally produced food in communities that:
- May lack farmers’ markets of their own,
- Have high concentrations of low-income and food-insecure households
- Are food desserts
- Have a high number of residents with a lack of access to consistent means of transportation
2.) Offer educational visits to area schools, child care centers, or other youth service sites. We introduce local food and farming to kids at an early age so can gain comfort and familiarity with the food system.
3.) Make recurring or regularly scheduled stops at workplaces an employee benefit. Many employers contract SAMM to offer a healthy workplace incentive to their employees by offering fresh local food for sale during the workday.
4.) Participate in one-time or recurring community events hosted by other organizations such as town festivals, police fire and safety events, document shredding events at banks, and other celebratory events. This helps put local food in the spotlight in front of large groups of people.
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.
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.
Introducing the Refresh program
We are excited to announce the launch of our new pilot program REFRESH! In partnership with Red’s Good Vibes, REFRESH will connect SNAP and low-income recipients to healthy, locally sourced food. We strongly believe that all people should have access to fresh, local produce and thanks to our amazing matching incentive programs, that is now possible! REFRESH is an introductory subscription program that delivers biweekly shares of produce from a variety of farms and producers. More than supplying healthy, local food, the REFRESH program will educate low-income customers about the value of eating local food and connect them with resources that will help them become long-term customers of the farmers and producers in their community. REFRESH hopes to contribute to a thriving local food economy, supporting local agriculture and food access for all! This program is offered once per household and is intended to be a fun and inviting way to introduce people to the local food system. After completion of the program, participants will have many new skills and resources to comfortably purchase local food from farmers’ markets, farm stands, and other local food outlets near their home.
We Need Volunteers!
We need volunteers for both one-time events and weekly recurring Mobile Market stops.
Here’s a look at what some of our volunteers for the Mobile Market do:
– Lift, stack, and move products as needed (up to 50 lbs)
– Pick up products at farms
– Prep product for sale (bagging, weighing)
– Set up and break down mobile market stops (tents, tables, signs, etc)
– End of the day cleaning of SAMM vehicle and equipment
– Help creatively setting up displays that are visually pleasing to customers
– Operate point-of-sale and process customer transactions
– Assist with daily reports and inventory
If you’re interested in becoming a weekly volunteer for SAMM this season, please email Celeste Gingras, Mobile Market Coordinator, at [email protected] Wednesdays and Thursdays will be days when we need the most help. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any additional questions you have about volunteering with SAMM!
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.