Monday, July 23, 2012

EBT/Foodstamp incentive at the Newark Valley Farmer's Market

The Newark Valley Farmers Market is in full swing. Produce is flowing in like crazy and we are excited to be bringing local products to the community.

Fresh Connect $2.00 coupon for EBT/Foodstamp users
As you all know we received the Fresh Connect Grant from Governor Cuomo to help cover costs to start up the market. With that comes an EBT incentive program that gives the EBT/Foodstamp customer extra money for free to spend at the market. For every $5 worth of tokens you receive $2.00 Fresh Connect coupon.

If you don't all know about the EBT/Foodstamps and how that works at a farmers market it is quite simple. The market itself has a machine just like a credit card machine and tokens that are provided through the NYS Department of Agriculture ad Markets. It is a program that the vendors have to sign participation agreements that allows all of us to except them.

What you would do is come to the very first tent by the Sidewalk closest to Main St intersection and you would tell me how much you would like off of your EBT/Foodstamp card. I then swipe the card just like I would in a regular grocery store. You enter your pin number and then however much you want off the card I give you in $1 tokens. These tokens can be spent with any vendor that you are purchasing EBT/Foodstamp approved food from. Such as Breads, fruits, vegetables, honey, meats, eggs....and so on. The same as the grocery store. No products that are not food related. If you do not spend all of your tokens you can bring them back to me and get the money put back on the card, or you can save them and spend them at the next weeks markets. You do need to spend them by the end of the season at the market which is October.

Those vendors would then at the end of the market bring the tokens back to me and they get paid through the Farmer's Market account. Which is all tied together with the NYS Agriculture and Markets program.

This program has been created to help initiate EBT/Foodstamp customers in receiving great quality local produce as well.

The farmers market also excepts the "Farmer's Market Nutrition Program" Checks. Also known as WIC checks. They are given out to Seniors as well as women participating in the WIC program. Generally you receive $24 dollars worth I believe per family to be spent at a participating farmers market on Fresh fruits and vegetables only. You have until the end of the market season to use them.

If you participate in WIC or are a senior make sure you contact them to ask about these Farmer's Market Nutrition Checks and tell them that you want them.

 I also figured I would give you a picture update on what is at the market lately!
Anura Liquid Soaps
West Creek Family Farm

Skretta Farms
Providence Farm

Eric Jr from Cross Creek Farm eating a juicy PA Peach.

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