Newark Beth Israel Medical Center has agreed to participate in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for its hydroponics farm, The Beth Greenhouse and Farmers Market.
Newark Beth Israel created the greenhouse last year as a way to offer healthy, organic food to the surrounding community, and was the first hospital-based vendor to have such an offering. The greenhouse produces roughly 100 pounds of food per week to local Farmer’s Markets and food pantries.
SNAP benefits allow welfare recipients to use government credits to buy food using an electronics benefit card. The application to allow Newark Beth Israel to accept SNAP benefits was approved by the U.S. Department of Human Services earlier in the week.
"We are proud to accept SNAP benefits at The Beth Greenhouse at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center,” said Darrell Terry, CEO of the Newark Beth Israel and the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. “This is a welcome addition to one of our most successful wellness programs and fully aligns with our mission to improve and sustain the health of the communities we serve."
SNAP benefits are typically offered to households with monthly incomes of less than $2,504 or families of five that earn less than $4,437 per month. Currently, more than 114,000 people in Essex County alone are recipients of SNAP benefits.