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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wooden Money

I found myself at the market and without cash on Saturday.  I know better than to head down without getting some cash first but my mind was not in it Saturday (Memorial weekend).  Even though I didn't want to think about the ATM fee's I tried it anyways but the ATM was out of order.

Then I remember reading on some promotional flier that you could use your ATM card and in exchange get these wooden tokens that the vendors would take.  I was pretty excited about this!  For one, it only charged me a dollar, much cheaper than the ATM would charge.  Two, I know there has been a big push for people on food stamps to eat healthier and they started this program so they could swipe their food stamp card for these wooden tokens. As someone who works with the poor each day at a place with a food pantry I am always pushing for healthier eating amongst my clients.  I have told several of them already about this program without knowing how it works myself.

The wooden tokens are sold in $5 increments so I got $20 worth.  (If I am planning and don't get carried away this is about what I spend.).  The first vendor I went up to wouldn't take my token and he looked at me a little irritated I would even offer.  I went up to the next booth and asked if they would take it and they did, no problems.  I found myself needing to explain that I wasn't poor but the ATM was broken and that is why all I had to offer was wooden money.  I continually found myself needing to explain it to every other booth I went to. One lady frowned at me and said "I guess", begrudgingly taking the round piece no bigger than a half dollar. The only person who smiled when taking it was a long haired, skinny man reminding all of us we are addicted to Monsanto and don't even know it.  He actually seemed delighted in the form of currency.

I made it through my $20 finally, even getting $3 back in green paper money to spend elsewhere.


LunchBox said...

I think the idea of encouraging those on food stamps to eat healthier is a great idea. Especially when produce can be bought cheaper from the farmers market for the most part.

I'm also a fan of the long haired hippie farmer. You can tell he loves what he does!

Kristi said...

I think this is pretty neat. I would assume that more of the vendors would have welcomed the wooden money. I see where this would be a problem if that was all they got and they were constantly needing to give "change" with no real money coming into their money boxes. But all in all....great idea!! And Kudos for eating healthier....really wish we had a farmers market...the only options I have is walmart or dillions (and I look for organic when I can) but still....not a lot of choices.