Fresh options for SNAP benefits - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Fresh options for SNAP benefits

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Alabama families who benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or Food Stamps, now have the option to purchase fresh produce and local farm products.  This not only means healthy food options for them, but a boost to Alabama's farmers and farmers' markets.  This option comes from an upgrade to technology.  Farmers could sign up in Montgomery to be able to redeem SNAP benefits.

"In the past, the lack of technology prevented farmers and farmers markets from accepting SNAP benefits, which are processed using Electronic Benefit Transactions (EBT)," said Don Wambles, Farmers Market Authority Director.  "Our staff is conducting signup sessions for farmers and farmers markets this Spring to assist them in getting authorized to receive free equipment that will process SNAP, debit and credit card transactions."

Anyone who runs a farmers' market or farms can contact the state to get information on a grant.  The federal funds allow for free wireless point-of-sale equipment and internet access.  You can also visit "market link" as an additional way to get authorized as SNAP vendors and get the equipment they need to accept SNAP benefits.  

As more SNAP customers shop at local farms and farmers' markets, they not only gain access to fresh food, but those dollars remain in the local economy creating a win-win-win situation for farmers, customers, and local communities. Research shows that about 20 cents of every SNAP dollar spent on food ends up in the pockets of American farmers.

For more information on how to become a SNAP authorized farm or farmers' market and receive wireless EBT equipment, please Click Here.

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