Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Grants Available to Help Farmers' Markets Accept SNAP Payments

From the USDA:

Up to $3.3 million in competitive funding is available to support the ability of farmers' markets to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

These grants will help expand SNAP  participants' access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutritious foods found at farmers' markets, while supporting the nation's farmers and producers.

Applications to apply for the grants are due June 18. Grant funds will be awarded in September. For further information about the grant application, visit www.grants.gov.

"We have seen an unprecedented growth in the number of farmers' markets accepting SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards in the past six years," said Kevin Concannon, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary of Agriculture. 

"These awards support the markets that may need administrative help in implementing and managing EBT service and informing customers that they can use their SNAP benefits at farmers markets," he said.

He also said there are more than 6,200 farmers' markets and direct marketing farmers authorized to accept SNAP nationwide – an eightfold increase since the beginning of this administration. In fiscal year 2014, about $18.7 million in SNAP benefits were used at farmers' markets, an increase of 7.5 percent over 2013. 

The Farmers Market SNAP Support Grants will range from $15,000 to $250,000 and must be designed to increase SNAP client accessibility and participation at farmers' markets, and support the establishment, expansion, and promotion of SNAP EBT services at farmers markets.

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