The Jon Henry General Store in New Market has partnered with the Virginia Fresh Match network, which will double the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at the store.

Jon Henry, the store’s owner, announced the partnership in a news release.

The Virginia Fresh Match network brings together organizations including farmers markets, local food nonprofits, and key stakeholders in order to address food security, farmer viability and affordable access to fresh produce.

As a Virginia Fresh Match incentive site, the Jon Henry General Store will offer a 50% discount on fresh produce to customers who use SNAP at check out.

“The store is the first neighborhood grocery in Shenandoah County to be part of the program,” Henry said. “We are excited to offer fresh local valley grown produce for folks.”

The store is also the fourth Virginia Fresh Match site.

Part of the goal of the project is to build collaborations between neighborhood grocery stores, service providers, farmers, farmers markets, SNAP consumers and community partners, the release states.

“Agriculture is Virginia’s leading industry yet many families struggle to afford fresh fruits and vegetables needed for a healthy lifestyle. Applied as a food security strategy in many communities, accepting and doubling SNAP at farmers markets and grocery stores makes freshfood more equitable and affordable,” Mauren Best, Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP) and Virginia Fresh Match Co-Lead, said. “The (Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive) grant allows Virginia Fresh Match to expand to more sites and to plan for the sustained future of nutrition incentives across the Commonwealth.”

In August 2018, Roanoke’s LEAP, on behalf of the statewide Virginia Fresh Match network, received a $1.8 million FINI grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support SNAP incentives throughout Virginia.

The three-year federal FINI grant supports the continued development and growth of Virginia Fresh Match.

The partnership for Henry comes on the heels of accepting a $10,000 nationwide grant as part of Main Street America’s Future of Shopping Small Grant Program.

— Contact Matt Welch at mwelch@winchesterstar.com