Advocating for Local Solutions

      Posted On: April 19, 2021

While accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at your farmers market is a great first step towards increasing community participation, many market operators find there  may be barriers to accessing the necessary equipment to do so. Because SNAP Benefits are loaded on to a government issued payment card, called Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), accepting this form of payment requires specialized equipment. You can learn more about the special equipment required to implement a nutrition incentive program on our SNAP Guide for Farmers Markets,  and our resource EBT Technology: Market Discover Process

Obtaining EBT card readers can be an additional cost to your market, but it doesn’t have to be. Many states choose to contract with EBT technology companies to provide a no-cost equipment option for farmers markets. 

Recently, consultant Kate Fitzgerald presented to state leaders about how they can work with their state SNAP agencies to advocate for a no-cost EBT machine option for farmers markets. 

Local Food and Local Solutions: Advocating for No-Cost Solutions Wireless SNAP Equipment at Farm Direct Outlets, was hosted by Farmers Market Coalition, on behalf of the Nutrition Incentive Hub, provided an overview of:

  • The role of SNAP processing companies and how states contract with them
  • Wireless EBT-processing equipment and service options in various states
  • How to communicate effectively with the appropriate people in your state to make no-cost equipment an option
  • How organizations can provide an effective connection between farmers markets and state agencies