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General store expands EBT program with state aid

Jon Henry General Store

A general store in New Market is offering frozen fruits and veggies at a discount to EBT customers with the help of state-funded programs. Randi B. Hagi reports.

Jon Henry says his namesake, the Jon Henry General Store, is wrapping up renovations that will greatly expand their frozen food offerings.

JON HENRY: We converted a former inventory room at our store into a full retail room, and it was with support from the Virginia Department of Agriculture… we can now add an entire seafood section for Virginia aquaculture folks, frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen meals, nd entire cooler just for Virginia dairy … and the plant-based cooler.

All the infrastructure for the project was purchased with a grant from the Virginia Food Access Investment Fund. Henry was also interested in a frozen inventory expansion because his store participates in the Virginia Fresh Match program, which allows customers shopping with EBT, P-EBT, and SNAP benefits to get half off produce.

HENRY: We also offer an in-store CSA, so every Wednesday and Friday we have premade food boxes of fruits and vegetables and produce, and those are 50% off, so instead of being $20, they're $10 for folks with an EBT, P-EBT or SNAP card … We're also one of the few stores and farmer's markets that offers bulk sales that qualify … so folks can buy 50-pound bags of potatoes, bushels of peaches, bushels of apples.

The store will hold a ribbon cutting event for the renovations some time next month.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.