For many Americans, access to fresh, healthy food can be a challenge. This is especially true for those living in low-income communities. Fortunately, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps to alleviate this issue by providing eligible households with financial assistance to purchase food. SNAP benefits have not only helped millions of families put food on their tables, but they have also had a positive impact on local farmers markets. By accepting SNAP benefits, farmers markets are able to increase their customer base and offer fresh, locally grown produce to those who may not have had access to it before.
According to a survey conducted by the Farmers Market Coalition, 80% of farmers markets reported an increase in sales after becoming authorized to accept SNAP benefits. In addition, 75% of markets reported an increase in the number of new customers they served. The benefits of SNAP acceptance at farmers markets go beyond just increased sales and customers. By accepting SNAP benefits, farmers markets are helping to support local agriculture and promote healthier eating habits. This, in turn, benefits the local economy and improves public health outcomes.
This farmers market now accepts SNAP benefits – How to pay with EBT cards
The Hall County Farmers Market is always a special event for local residents, and a great place for local farmers to sell their produce And the experience is about to get even better: starting on May 9th, visitors will have a new opportunity to take home fresh produce at a discounted price. Thanks to a partnership with Wholesome Wave Georgia, patrons can now accept payments with EBT cards, for the good of the SNAP beneficiaries.
The Georgia Fresh for Less program, of which the Hall County Farmers Market is now a part, has been instrumental in making locally grown produce more accessible to those who may otherwise be unable to afford it. According to the organization, the program has increased fresh produce consumption, and that’s always good news. This is a significant accomplishment that aligns with the mission of Wholesome Wave Georgia to increase access to fresh, healthy, local food.
The new offering at the Hall County Farmers Market has been in the works for over three years and is the result of efforts by board member and treasurer Chris Arrington. The program is not only aimed at those who may be struggling financially, but also at senior citizens who receive Georgia Senior SNAP benefits.
Arrington explains that the goal of the program is to reduce the stigma attached to food stamps and to attract shoppers who may feel intimidated by farmers markets. “We’re not just looking at people who are down on their luck, so to speak—a lot of people are on a fixed income and need that additional help,” he said. By making fresh produce more affordable, the program aims to create more equitable access to healthy food options for everyone in the community.
The list of farmers market accepting EBT cards
The Hall County Farmers Market’s partnership with Wholesome Wave Georgia is a great example of how nonprofit organizations and local businesses can work together to provide healthy food options to underserved communities. It is a positive step forward in creating a more sustainable and equitable food system that benefits everyone.
The Food and Nutrition Service has an updated list of farmers’ markets now accepting your EBT card: you can check this year’s list right here, in the USDA official website.