Shop at Your Local Farmers Market With SNAP/EBT: Freshness in Every Bite!

Maddie Parker
Published Jan 18, 2024


If you've ever stopped by your local farmers market to check out the produce from various vendors, you'd find healthy, nutritious foods. The wonderful thing about these markets is connecting people to farm fresh items in their local community. It's great for the economy in your town or city, and best of all, you can shop there with your SNAP/EBT card.

 

What Are You Waiting For?


A lot of folks are unaware that their Food Stamps/SNAP/EBT card can be used for more than just shopping at the grocery store. Summertime is ripe for farmers markets across the country to share their delicious bounty. Make a grocery list before you go because you'd be surprised at the nutritious items you can find there. From just-picked fruits and vegetables to wholesome meat, fish and dairy and bread products, the variety is excellent.

The experts recommend bringing a small cooler with you in case you purchase meat or dairy items. This will allow your products to remain fresh and cool as you shop. Another good tip is to invite your family and friends. Farmers markets welcome children, and many are even pet-friendly. Check your local market to see if Fido can come along.

 

How To Use Your SNAP/EBT Card


When you arrive at your local farmers market, look for an information table and tell them you would like to use your SNAP benefits. They will swipe your EBT card and then hand you tokens. Generally speaking, you will receive one token for every SNAP dollar you want to spend.

Here's a good tip to remember: Let's say that you have some unused tokens from your last trip. Don't worry as they can be exchanged at the token booth for a refund back onto your EBT/Food Stamps/SNAP card.

Other local markets may use another system. For example, you will shop first and then be given a receipt for items you purchase. After, you will pay for your goods with your EBT card.

There's another easier approach some farmers markets use, and this one allows you to swipe your EBT card right at the vendor's booth.

 

Buy Some of These Yummy Foods


Every farmers market is unique in what they bring to the table so to speak. However, at most of these local stands, you can also find vegetable plants that "grow food" such as tomatoes and peppers. There are also maple and honey products to check out along with baked goods that are wrapped and labeled. Don't forget to look over the homemade soups, sauces and jams that may be available.

 

These Are Not Purchasable With EBT


There are some limits on what your EBT food stamps card can be used for. For instance, your tokens cannot be used to buy alcohol, including beer, wine and liquor. You cannot purchase tobacco products, vitamins or medicines or food meant to be eaten on-site. Also, non-food items can not be used with your EBT card.

 

Celebrate National Farmers Market Week (Aug.)


All across the United States, folks are looking forward to visiting their local market on National Farmers Market Week from August 6 to August 12. Look for the special events your market may be holding. Did you know that more than one-half million SNAP households made at least one purchase at a farmers market in 2021? The numbers keep growing.

Also, it's incredible to note that in 2021, more than $100 million in federal nutrition benefits were redeemed at farmers markets.

Increasing access to fresh food is essential for all people, and these markets are excellent at bringing communities together.

 

How Can I Apply for SNAP?


If you're interested in an EBT/Food Stamps/Snap Card, it's simple to get one. SNAP is a government program that helps individuals and families purchase the food they need to stay healthy. To apply, contact your local SNAP office. Each state has its own system, but most states allow you to apply online. The U.S. Department of Agriculture can assist you here.

Once you're in the program, you'll receive automatic monthly funds through the EBT benefits card, which is similar to using a debit card. The amount you get will depend on your income level and household size. On average, the monthly SNAP benefit is $129 per household member.

Have fun buying nutritious foods this summer!

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