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Getting your EBT program Up and running. Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting your EBT program Up and running. Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting your EBT program Up and running

2 Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps

3 ● SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as "food stamps” ● Administered by the USDA office of Food and Nutrition Services(FNS). ● Federal program that helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need for good health. ● EBT: Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows recipients to access their SNAP benefits using a card similar to a credit card.

4 Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps

5 Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps cont.. LINK: The name for the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system used in Illinois to distribute food and cash assistance benefits, including SNAP. The card used to redeem benefits is known as a Link card. Each state has a different name for its EBT system-- for example, Louisiana Purchase, Golden State Advantage (California), Oregon Trail, Lone Star (Texas), or Hoosier Works (Indiana).

6 Assists People in Transition 48% of all participants are children $711 is the average gross monthly income per SNAP household 79% of all benefits go to households with children 58% of households with children are headed by single parents National Characteristics of SNAP Households Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2009, USDA FNS

7 Helps Families Make Healthier Choices Households CAN use SNAP benefits for: Breads and cereals Fruits and vegetables Meats, fish and poultry Dairy products Fruit or Vegetable producing plants/seeds Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits for: Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco Any nonfood items, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products Vitamins and medicines Food or hot meals that will be eaten on-site or in the store SNAP-Eligible Food Purchases

8 SNAP Benefit $$$ in Billions FY 2011 preliminary numbers

9 Persons receiving SNAP Benefits FY 2011 preliminary numbers

10 Is a LINK Program Feasible for your Market? * Staffing and support ● LINK/EBT coordinator – Works the LINK booth/tent/table – Keeps track of receipts, tokens, incentive program – Prepares accounting reports

11 Is a LINK Program Feasible for your Market? ● Backroom Accounting – Processes checks for vendors – Pays transaction fees if any – Between 2-4 hours work per week

12 How SNAP/LINK works in the Market ● Needs a special redemption system ● Since most farmers/vendors do not have a machine at their stand for processing, a method of exchanging food for payment needs to be in place. – Token, Script, or Receipt? TokenPaper Receipt

13 Redemption systems Token or Paper? ● Easier for Customers to use, more back end accounting for you. ● Accounting – Keep good accounting of stock – do 3 counts and record! ● 1 st of complete stock. ● 2 nd of Tokens given out. ● 3 rd of tokens coming back from Farmer.

14 Redemption systems “CHITs” ● Easier for Market Manager, more work for shopper ● Be sure to have extra Generic CHITs on hand. ● Keep all returned CHITs for accounting at end of day. Farmer John 01 $10.00 Apples

15 ● Ideas on Improving your existing program? Incentive Programs LINK Up Illinois Double Value Coupon Program (modeled after Wholesome Waves DVCP) helps to increase a SNAP recipients buying power for food at Farmers Markets. This is basically a 2 for 1 program (up to a certain amount)

16 ● Ideas on Improving your existing program? Incentive Programs ● Helps to grow your market by reaching new customers who could not otherwise afford to purchase fresh and wholesome foods.

17 What did customers buy? SNAP purchases 2011 season Data from 11 of the 20 LINK Up Illinois supported markets. a program of

18 What did customers buy? DVCP purchases 2011 season Data from 11 of the 20 LINK Up Illinois supported markets. a program of

19 Basic First Steps ● Apply to with Food and Nutrition Service ● Online application. ● Turn around time less then 45 days, faster for Farmers Markets. ● Determine How to process payments ● Free EBT only Machine from FNS – Need phone line and electricity ● Voucher – Can combine with EBT machine ● Buy, rent, or get FREE Wireless Machine from third party processer – Responsible for processing fees

20 For help with bringing EBT/LINK to your market contact… Corey Chatman LINK Up Illinois Program Manager (o) (cell) Experimental Station 6100 S. Blackstone Chicago Il 60637


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