USDA Expands Support for Farmers Markets to Accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits
Will offer more retail opportunities for SNAP recipients to access fresh, healthy food
Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon announced expanded eligibility for USDA grants to improve access to fresh produce and healthy foods by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients at America's farmers' markets.
As a result of funding provided by Congress through the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012, USDA last year announced the availability of $4 million in funding to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale equipment in farmers markets not currently accepting SNAP benefits. Today's action expands eligibility for grant funds to include direct marketing farmers, as well as farmers markets. Funds may be used to purchase or lease equipment or pay for wireless access. Funds are available to States through September 30, 2013.
USDA has made expanding SNAP recipients' access to fresh fruits and vegetables through farmers markets a priority in recent years. In 2008, about 750 farmers markets and direct marketing farmers accepted SNAP. In 2012, over 3,200 participated – a four-fold increase in markets, which was accompanied by a six-fold increase in redemptions at these outlets.
To find out more about available farmers market equipment funding or to learn more about accepting SNAP benefits at your farmers market, contact your SNAP State agency or visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/ebt/fm.htm