SNAP has arrived at the Brevard County Farmer’s Market
By Space Coast Daily // June 30, 2013
$4 million in funding
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — The Brevard County Farmers Market has received a federal grant funding EBT payments under the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP.)
Electronic benefit transfer, EBT, is an initiative by the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, to expand access to fresh produce and healthy foods to SNAP recipients at America’s farmers markets.
FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
As a result of funding provided by Congress through the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012, last year USDA announced the availability of $4 million in funding to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale equipment in farmers markets not currently accepting SNAP benefits.
“These grants increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to SNAP customers and further encourage them to purchase and prepare healthy foods for their families using SNAP benefits,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon.
“In general, research shows that about 20 cents of every SNAP dollar spent on food ends up in the pocket of American farmers.”
“Installing wireless technology at farmers markets expands the customer base for markets and increases the share of the SNAP dollar that goes directly back to local farmers and into local economies.”
USDA has made expanding SNAP recipients’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables through farmers markets a priority in recent years.
In 2008, about 750 farmers markets and direct marketing farmers accepted SNAP.
Along with other criteria, a farmers market is defined as a multi-stall market at which farmer-producers sell agricultural products, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables, also meat products, dairy products, and/or grains, directly to the general public at a central or fixed location.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including SNAP, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year.
These programs work together to form a national safety net against hunger.
Also, visit the Brevard County Farmer’s Market each Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Wickham Park in Melbourne.
Visit FNS.USDA.gov for information about FNS and nutrition programs.
For more information visit BrevardCountyFarmersMarket.com.