The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called “Food Stamps”) provides financial assistance to low or no-income individuals and families.

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Location: Market Umbrella’s Crescent City Farmers Market, New Orleans, LA

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called “food stamps”) provides financial assistance to low or no-income individuals.

Accepting SNAP allows markets to:
1. Diversify their customer base by bringing in other sectors of the community
2. Put more money in local farmers’ pockets
3. Boosts the regional economy
4. Helps farmers markets grow

Governmental agencies use EBTs (electronic benefit transfers) to supply funds to individuals enrolled in programs like SNAP. Many farmers markets, such as the Crescent City farmers market, allow EBT to be converted into tokens redeemable with market vendors. SNAP shoppers swipe their benefit card here and receive wooden tokens to spend on SNAP eligible products from farmers market vendors. These tokens can additionally help reduce any stigma associated with SNAP, as credit/debit shoppers also pay with wooden tokens.

The Crescent City farmers market accepts SNAP benefits to give low income shoppers access to locally grown, raised and produced foods and puts more money into local food producers' pockets. Accepting SNAP requires Market Umbrella, operator of the Crescent City Farmer’s Market, to dedicate a good deal of back office capacity — specifically staff time to count tokens, cut checks and troubleshoot problems that come with using wireless processing devices in rain, heat, cold and high humidity. While devices that allow markets to accept SNAP benefits can be procured free of charge, the amount of staff time it takes to manage the process comes at a considerable cost.

Post to SNAP