April 19, 2024

USDA Aims To Make Shopping At Farmers Markets A SNAP

Shopping at farmers’ markets this summer will get a little easier for some families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) thanks to a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

USDAThe USDA’s goal is to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale (POS) equipment in farmers’ markets not currently participating in SNAP to make it easier for shoppers to redeem their benefits electronically. About 1,500 of the 7,100 farmers’ markets nationwide currently use electronic benefit transfer, and SNAP purchases at farmer’s markets have increased 400 percent of the last four years, according to the USDA.

“This funding will help SNAP customers increase their opportunities to access healthy, local foods,” Kathleen Merrigan, USDA deputy secretary, said in a statement. “And evidence suggests they will take advantage of that access. When we couple this approach with strategies like the education, cooking demonstrations, and community support often found at farmers markets, consumption of healthy foods should rise even more.”

The money is being awarded to states in proportion with the percentage of farmers’ markets not participating in SNAP. If, for example, X percent of farmers’ markets in State A don’t participate, State A, will receive X percent of the $4 million.

For more information about how the program works, see: Fiscal Year Funding for SNAP 2012

To see a listing of farmers’s markets that accept SNAP visit: Farmer’s Market Search.

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