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North Carolina Pastured Pork Farmer Makes Sustainable Food Accessible and Affordable

Dixon Family Farms is now accepting EBT benefits though the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP,” formerly the Food Stamp Program) in order to meet the needs of the Greene County community. EBT provides assistance to individuals at the poverty level and EBT cards can be used to make food purchases at participating vendors, which now includes Dixon Family Farms. The farm was recently AWA-certified for pigs, meaning the animals are raised according to the highest animal welfare standards. Dixon Family Farms accepting EBT benefits enables community members of all income levels to enjoy high-welfare pork and provides the community with sustainable food choices.

Farmer Jay Dixon says the decision was largely motivated by the need he sees in his own community: “Greene County is a poor county. Ninety percent of the population is probably right at the poverty line.  This to us is a way to make high quality, healthful food accessible to everyone. From our perspective, there are some administrative hoops you have to jump through, but it’s really not that difficult.”

AWA Program Director Andrew Gunther says, “This is a huge step forward in the issue of food access.  Jay and Pamela are addressing a challenge that is very near and dear to our goals as a program. Good food is not elitist: everyone should have the right to food that is clean, safe, and wholesome.”

Jay Dixon chose AWA certification because it lets consumers know that their animals are raised in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S., using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent family farm. The label also shows that animals are never given sub-therapeutic antibiotics, and are raised outdoors in an environmentally responsible way. Dixon says, “I want people to know that we care about what we’re doing. When they see the AWA logo on our website and on our barn, they know, ‘These people understand what they’re doing, and they care about what they’re doing.’”

Dixon Family Farms’ Animal Welfare Approved pork is available directly from the farm seven days a week, and at their farm stand from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday–Saturday. For more information, visit AWA’s online directory or http://www.dixonfamilyfarms.com/.

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