FMC’s SNAP EBT Equipment Program Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you define ‘farmers market’ and ‘direct marketing farmer?’
A: The USDA defines a farmers market as a fixed location where two or more farmer-producers sell agricultural goods they’ve produced (particularly fresh fruit and vegetables, but also meat products, dairy products, and grains) directly to consumers. Direct marketing farmers are farmer-producers that sell goods they’ve produced directly to consumers.

Q: What qualifies as not being in possession of functioning SNAP EBT equipment?
A: You are not in possession of functioning SNAP EBT equipment if:

  • You currently rely on manual/paper vouchers to accept SNAP,
  • You do not currently accept SNAP and have never possessed functioning SNAP EBT equipment, or
  • You do not currently accept SNAP because your EBT equipment cannot
    successfully process SNAP transactions. The EBT equipment is:
    /  Damaged beyond repair.
    /  Non-operational because your SNAP EBT service provider no longer offers SNAP EBT processing in your state.
    /  Stolen or lost.

Q: Does the point of contact on FMC’s application have to be the same person responsible for my market’s SNAP-authorization?
A: Yes.

Q: How do I find out my SNAP Permit / FNS Number?
A: If you don’t know your FNS number, call this toll-free number for assistance: 1 (877) 823-4369.

Q: What costs can be be covered by FMC’s program?
A: FMC can cover the costs of SNAP EBT equipment (including debit and credit functions), and service fees. Service fees vary between providers, but they typically include set up costs, monthly statement fees, and wireless fees. Transaction costs (for SNAP EBT, credit, and debit transactions), the costs of scrip systems (paper, ink, tokens, etc.), and fees to terminate an existing contract will not be covered.

Q: If I’m approved, which SNAP EBT service providers can I choose from?
A: Dharma Merchants, MarketLink, MerchantSource, and TSYS. Learn more about the service providers here: bit.ly/ProviderGuide. 

Q: I’m not SNAP-authorized yet. Where can I get free SNAP EBT equipment?
A: While you aren’t eligible for FMC’s Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program, there are other funding options available to you. MarketLink is a program of the National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs, which offers smart-device and app-based payment systems. Markets and farmers new to the SNAP program can apply for a free MarketLink system directly from MarketLink.org.

Q: I’m eligible for FMC’s Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program, but I’d like one of MarketLink’s app-based SNAP EBT payment systems. Can I get one?
A: MarketLink is one of the service providers participating in FMC’s program. Apply through FMC’s program, and if approved, you’ll have the option to choose MarketLink as your SNAP EBT service provider.