SoDak Grown Punch Card Program connects more producers, consumers

Jerry Oster, WNAXJuly 2, 2021Agriculture News
Dakota Rural ActionStephanie Peterson, DRA SoDak Grown Punch Card Program

PIERRE, SD – Dakota Rural Action’s SoDak Grown Punch Card program has expanded this year to 12 locations across the state. Spokesperson Stephanie Peterson says a major goal of the program is to bring producers and consumers closer together and get South Dakota grown food out to those consumers.

Sturgis Farmers’ Market

“We are trying to build a strong, resilient food system in our state that will support community members and also support our producers, farmers and ranchers,” said Peterson.  “This year we’ve branched out and are now across the entire state with participating farmer markets.”

She describes it as a simple program where consumers pick up a card at a participating farmer’s market and then have that card punched when they purchase a locally grown, South Dakota item.

“People can pick up a card at any of the participating locations.  It’s works on the honor system,” explains Peterson. ”Every time you purchase a locally produced item, you give yourself a punch on your card.  We also have expanded it to include harvesting something from your own garden. You can also punch the card for that.  Once the card is filled with 12 punches, you return it to one of the participating retail outlets.”

At the end of the month, all cards are collected and included in drawings for gift cards to participating businesses. Peterson says the SoDak Grown Punch Card program should help with dealing with food Insecurity and improved accessibility to food.

“Part of building a strong, local food system is increasing food security. This program is a part of that too,” said Peterson.

Dozens of farmer’s market retailers offer the punch card program including in Sturgis, Spearfish, Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Brandon Valley, Brookings, Hot Springs and Pierre.

Find out more about Dakota Rural Action and the SoDak Grown Punch Card Program here and on Facebook.