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Encouraging SNAP usage at Farmers Markets Marketing the Market.

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Presentation on theme: "Encouraging SNAP usage at Farmers Markets Marketing the Market."— Presentation transcript:

1 Encouraging SNAP usage at Farmers Markets Marketing the Market

2 What is the EBT program at Markets? Central terminal system Market is authorized as a SNAP retailer on behalf of all farmers and vendors in the market. Uses one terminal in a central location, marked by a banner Consumers receive tokens as EBT scrip

3 Benefits of a Central System Creates a larger pool of vendors accepting SNAP benefits = More Choice for consumers Tokens make sales faster for farmers in a busy market Bottom Line: This system makes fresh, healthy and locally grown food accessible to low income consumers.

4 How do customers use their benefits? It’s Simple! 1. Find the market banner to locate the EBT terminal Swipe your benefits card and exchange benefits for wooden EBT tokens. 3. Use tokens as cash on SNAP eligible product with any farmer or vendor displaying their signs: “Tokens Accepted Here”

5 What are tokens? SNAP scrip – they are used, same as cash, on SNAP eligible products in the market Each token is market specific and should only be used at the market where it was purchased Most tokens are $1 in value, with a few $5 tokens at the larger markets No change can be given. They cannot be exchanged for cash They have NO expiration date and can be used at any time Unused tokens may also be returned and benefits placed back in the customer’s benefit account

6 What about the farmers? Farmers operate under the Market’s SNAP certification by accepting SNAP scrip. They accept tokens on any SNAP eligible product. No change can be given, so farmers will add extra product to bring the sale to an even dollar amount Farmers redeem tokens through the market whenever convenient to them, receiving the full face value of the token.

7 Your role as a Service Provider

8 Build Awareness with your clients Ongoing dialogue with clients discussing the benefits of shopping at farmers markets: Use information from and Distribute EBT brochures developed by the Federation Hold informational meetings

9 2. The discussion: Benefits of Shopping at farmers markets: Greater variety of local produce Fresher, more flavorful and more nutritious Meet the farmers Support a local economy

10 More of the discussion Tips for shopping at a farmers market: Bring a reusable tote bag Browse the market before making your decision. Base your decisions on quality rather than on price Bring a cooler to keep your purchases fresh until you get home Come early for the best selection Talk to the farmers – they have a wealth of information to share Encourage your children to get involved in making buying decisions

11 And still more discussion What to expect at the market; Wide variety of fruits and vegetables – in SEASON! Local meats Artisan cheeses Farmer produced sauces, jams and jellies, salsa, ect Local honey and maple products Baked goods And More!!!

12 It’s an EXPERIENCE! Food, Fun and Family Above picture, courtesy of Margaret Moulton

13 3. Listen to the concerns voiced “Markets are too expensive” Price comparisons show markets to be comparably priced and often less expensive than supermarkets In-season produce is usually cheaper and can be purchased in bulk to preserve for out-of-season use The variety of produce exceeds a supermarket, so many things will only be available at a farmers market Coupon incentive programs help to make markets even more affordable

14 Additional Concerns “Market hours are not convenient” While that may be true, the atmosphere and experience of shopping at a farmers market outweighs the inconvenience Meeting the growers only happens at farmers markets Learn more about the products, such as how to properly choose the best, recipes, storing and preserving hints and tips Ask about production methods Special events within the market make the trip a family event

15 And still more concerns “There is no public transportation to the market” Many markets are not located on a public transit route Many communities across New York State do not have public transportation Help your clients to find alternative transportation Housing Authority buses Community Center vans Talk to your public transit authority to get the market on a scheduled route

16 4. Make the Connection Help your clients navigate the market and use their benefits:

17 5. Encouraging the Connection Plan a market field trip Play farmers market bingo Arrange transportation Conduct workshops to show how to use farmers market purchases Create a summer calendar with market days and times highlighted Distribute seasonal recipes

18 Providing Assistance to Markets

19 Encourage SNAP participation Meet with market managers in your region What does SNAP mean for the market Pledge your assistance: Help with the application process Agree to assist with on-site administration Facilitate connections with community organizations to provide assistance: Administrative assistance Promotional support Client referrals

20 Farmers Market Application Process NYS Farmers Market Wireless EBT Program 3 Step Process: 1. Complete the Farmers Market Wireless EBT Participation Agreement 2. Apply for USDA application for SNAP certification 3. Complete application for POS terminal

21 Participating markets receive: No-cost wireless POS terminal Supply of tokens Market banner Farmer/vendor signage Access to media kit Reimbursement for monthly wireless fees and transaction EBT fees Training On-going support from Farmers Market Federation of NY

22 What’s new in the program? Smartphone applications for accepting SNAP benefits. Requires an iphone or ipad with a data plan Piloting in NYS in 2013 with the goal of more widespread usage thereafter.

23 Resources

24 Media Center Advertising and promotional pieces NYS Farmers Market Wireless EBT program details Training presentation Participation Agreements

25 SNAP Market locator Seasonality Chart Hints and Tips Links to additional services Fresh Tips Newsletter

26 Resources for making your shopping experience successful Why shop at a farmers market How to shop at a farmers market Food safety tips for healthy consumers Hints and tips for your farmers market purchases

27 Additional Resources Cornell FMNP Team - WIC agencies – htm htm Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) – Department of Social Services (DSS) - Nutrition Outreach and Education Program – Cornell Cooperative Extension –

28 Thank you! For more information or questions, please contact us: Diane Eggert Farmers Market Federation 117 Highbridge St, Suite U3 Fayetteville, NY (315) 637 – 4690


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