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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Food Stamps at Farmer’s Markets

  • Legislation would allow food stamps to be used at farmer’s markets, By Stephen Rickerl, April 26, 2010, The Southern: “Proposed legislation seeks to make locally grown fresh produce and meats available to food stamp recipients. House Bill 4756 introduced by state Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, would create the Farmer’s Market Technology Improvement Act, which would create a fund to assist vendors at USDA approved farmer’s markets in purchasing equipment needed to process Electronic Debit Transfers. The equipment is necessary to process electronic debits because recipients receive their food assistance in the form of a LINK card, which is used to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to increase access to fresh foods by SNAP recipients…”
  • Farmers markets run by city of Chicago will start accepting food stamp cards, By Monica Eng, April 19, 2010, Chicago Tribune: “If you want to buy a meal of doughnuts, chips and soda with food stamp benefits, you’ll have no problem in Chicago. But if you want to use them for fresh fruits and vegetables at a farmers market, it’s been impossible. That’s about to change. In a pilot program announced Monday by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, five city-run farmers markets – Lincoln Square, South Shore Bank, Daley Plaza, Division Street and Beverly – will accept LINK cards, Illinois’ debit cards for food stamp purchases…”
  • Farmers market to take food stamps, By Anna Webb, April 19, 2010, Idaho Statesman: “A certain cliche hounds farmers markets: that they serve an affluent clientele willing to pay high prices for arugula and artisanal cheeses. But last year, growers at one Capital City booth – Global Gardens, a community garden project run by the Idaho Office for Refugees – started quietly undermining that idea by accepting food stamps at their produce booth. The idea caught on, and this year most produce booths at the market will be food stamp accessible, said Katie Painter, refugee agriculture coordinator with the agency. Though the market opens Saturday, the EBT, or ‘electronic benefits transfer’ machines, will be up and running June 5, just as harvest season is picking up. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare staff has actively recruited Idaho farmers markets to accept food stamps. Seven markets across Idaho have tentatively signed on, said Health and Welfare spokeswoman Emily Simnitt. A record number of Idahoans are using food stamps – 180,000 in the most recent count, an increase of 106 percent in the last two years…”