I love my Farmers’ Market but for various reasons, we had only made it once or twice all summer long. Those two trips happened to fall on the Wednesday before our Food Stamp Day (the 9th of every month), and we had to spend cash instead of use our EBT card.
We are incredibly fortunate that we have a great Farmers’ Market within walking distance of our house and that they accept food stamps. Less than half of all Farmers’ Markets in the U.S. accept food stamps. Avi Miner, who is my local market manager and Local Foods Community Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension , said he didn’t understand why more farmers’ markets don’t participate because the process is very simple.
This is problematic as there is more discussion about states adopting “junk food bills” that restrict the types of food people receiving SNAP can buy.
It’s ridiculous to limit the food choices of people, especially when they may live in an area already hindered by poor choices (for example, food deserts). You can’t restrict options without offering an affordable alternative to replace that gap. Farmers’ Markets are vital to serving that need.
As far as being a food stamp foodie using EBT at a farmers’ market, it’s also very easy. Although it may be different from market to market, this is how it works at ours ….
At the market office, your EBT card is swiped for whatever amount you think you’d like to spend. For our trip last week, we asked for $30.
Once your card is swiped for the amount you want, you’re given tokens.
AND , thanks to a grant, my market gives additional coupons to SNAP recipients . For every $5, you get an extra $2. Some markets will double the amount you spend.
I know. Swoon worthy,right?
Here is some of what we ended up taking home. We spent $41 Missing from this picture are raspberries, which were already in the kids’ bellies two minutes after we got home, and a watermelon we had for dessert.
If the tomatoes from my own garden hurry up and finish ripening, those peppers are going to be awesome in salsa. Those purple peppers are gorgeous things. They turn green when you cook them. They also inspire one to attempt saying, “Peter Piper picked a peck of purple pickled peppers”, while cutting them up.
If you aren’t sure if your local Farmers’ Market accepts SNAP or not, go here to find out:
Farmers’ Markets Accepting SNAP
If your local Farmers’ Market does not currently accept SNAP , I would suggest making some phone calls to those in charge of the market, urging them to consider applying. The application for Farmers’ Markets to accept SNAP can be found at the USDA website here:
Accept SNAP Benefits at Farmer’s Markets application
My gratitude to the Trumansburg Farmers’ Market, for supporting food insecure families in the community by providing accessibility to quality,local produce. You rock.