MISSOULA, Mont. - The popular Missoula Valley Winter Market returns to western Montana this weekend, making it easier to get fresh vegetables in the winter months.
However, it returns with two big changes.
The first big change is with the double SNAP program. The market is upping its double snap dollars from $20 to $30. Participants will now be able to get up to $60 each week through the program.
This is possible through a partnership with the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition.
The coalition reports since 2015, more than 7,000 Montanans have participated in double SNAP, spending nearly $541,000 on local foods.
Market manager Franco Salazar explained how the program helps vendors sell to more customers and brings people together.
"People care about what they're eating," Salazar said. "They really appreciate the opportunity to come to a farmers market and talk directly with the farmer. We're lucky to live where we live, people actually do care about where their food is coming from."
The second big change is the market's location.
While it's still at the Southgate Mall, it'll now be fully inside the western concourse area near the new Scheels.
Managers of the market and Southgate Mall both expressed excitement about the new location because it gives exposure to both the market and mall.
The Missoula Valley Winter Market opens Saturday, November 13 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will run through April. The holiday market will also run o Wednesday evenings through December 22 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.