Category Archives: SNAP

FMC Submits Comments on SNAP Retailer Requirements

Jen O'Brien November 6, 2013

Earlier this month, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) solicited input on SNAP retailer regulations and ways to increase healthy food access to SNAP participants. Specifically, FNS requested, ‘information from any and all interested parties on opportunities to enhance retailer definitions and requirements in a manner that improves access to healthy food choices for SNAP participants as well as program integrity, and ensures that only those…

Slow and Steady: Farmers Market SNAP Sales Continue to Expand

Liz Comiskey February 15, 2013

By Natalie Roper, FMC Research & Education Intern, and Stacy Miller, Project Director The New Year seems to have kicked off with less than positive news for farmers markets. The nine-month farm bill extension that passed late New Years Day surprised many by failing to provide mandatory funding for a variety of smaller programs that…

USDA announces 2012 support for SNAP in farmers markets, issues memorandum on state allocations

Stacy May 9, 2012

The $4 million is being distributed to states using an allocation formula based on the number of markets not accepting SNAP at present. In a memorandum to Regional SNAP and Field Operations Offices, the Food and Nutrition Service explains that allowable costs for the funds (covered at 100%) include the purchase or lease of wireless POS equipment and monthly wireless access fees associated with using that equipment. “States may choose to provide wireless POS equipment that also accepts commercial credit and debit cards, without being required to cost-allocate the cost of equipment or its flat monthly service fees,” provided that markets themselves bear the cost of debit or credit transaction fees unrelated to SNAP wireless access.

USDA Food and Nutrition Services Embarks on Landmark Study

Liz Comiskey January 18, 2012

This unprecedented survey, launched on January 3rd, seeks responses from 3,000 randomly selected farmers market managers and direct marketing farmers around the nation. FMC encourages anyone who has received one of these surveys to take the time to fill it out thoughtfully, either on the paper version received through the mail or through this link. According to Kelly Kinnison, PhD, Social Science Research Analyst at the USDA FNS Office of Research and Analysis, the information gleaned from this comprehensive survey “will be vital to better understanding the characteristics, logistics, opportunities, and challenges of operating federal nutrition programs at farmers markets.”

SNAP Redemptions at Farmers Markets Exceed $11 Million in 2011

Liz Comiskey

Between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011, more than $11,725,316 in SNAP benefits were redeemed at farmers markets, increasing more than $4 million in one year. As overall SNAP redemptions increased 11% between 2010 and 2011, from $64.7 billion to $71.8 billion, SNAP redemptions at farmers markets increased by 55%. Thus, growth in SNAP redemption in farmers markets cannot solely be accounted for by persistent unemployment, more widespread eligibility for the program, and increases in federal SNAP spending. Of the $64,704,407,189 in SNAP dollars redeemed in 2010, .014% was redeemed at farmers markets– a rate that increased to .016% in 2011. These numbers, though they represent a very small piece of the pie, do demonstrate growth.

The Future of Payment at Farmers Markets: Evolving Technology to Connect Farmers to SNAP and WIC

Liz Comiskey October 18, 2011

The Future of Payment at Farmers Markets: Evolving Technology to Connect Farmers to SNAP and WIC by Drew Love There is a $64 billion dollar pool of money out there to support localized sustainable agriculture, and there is a piece of plastic standing in the way. The $64 billion dollars is the amount of money…

Massachusetts Agencies Combine Forces to Promote EBT at Farmers Markets

Liz Comiskey July 13, 2011

by Drew Love Technology can sometimes be a “two steps forward, one step back” kind of progression. In the mid-1990s, the federal food stamp program (now known as SNAP) went under just such a technological transformation. Before the transition, food stamps had been a tangible paper currency that was handed over to cash register operators…

Farmers Market SNAP Sales Soar in 2010

Stacy April 19, 2011

By Drew Love, FMC Research & Education Intern Over the past five years, the number of farmers markets and direct marketing farmers accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits increased 263%. That is only one of many promising figures to emerge from a forthcoming USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) report on SNAP redemption rates…

FMC Thanks Obama for Supporting Wireless EBT at Farmers Markets

Stacy February 24, 2011

On February 14th, 2011, President Obama released his proposed budget for FY 2012. Despite more than $3.2 billion in proposed discretionary cuts to the overall USDA Budget, the President showed some Valentine’s Day love for farmers markets by including $4 million in his proposed budget for USDA Food and Nutrition Service for providing wireless POS…

FNS Funds Research to Better Understand Farmers Market SNAP Acceptance

Jen O'Brien January 11, 2011

FNS has recently taken an interest in learning how to better connect SNAP clients to farmers markets, and initiated a competitive bidding process in mid-2010 to contract a research team to investigate SNAP access at farmers markets. After the bids had been submitted, Westat, a research firm based out of Rockville, Maryland, emerged as the winner and received the multi-million dollar contract to conduct the research.