Understanding SNAP for farmers markets

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Presented to Virginia Farmers Market Managers to educate on participating in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Presented to Virginia Farmers Market Managers to educate on participating in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

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  • 1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • 2. SNAP is the New Name for the Food Stamp Program
    • The new name reflects the changes we’ve made to meet the needs of our clients, including a focus on nutrition and improvements in program access.
  • 3. Overview
    • SNAP is a nutrition program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
    • It is designed to help prevent hunger and malnutrition by increasing food purchasing power.
    • The intent of the program is to supplement food needs – not to supply food needs.
  • 4. Overview
    • SNAP benefits can be used to buy food or seeds and plants to grow food in a home garden. SNAP benefits can not be used to buy:
    • Alcoholic beverages or tobacco;
    • Hot foods ready for immediate consumption or foods to be eaten on the store premises;
    • Pet foods;
    • Soap or paper products or other non-food items.
  • 5. Application Process
    • Local departments of social services are responsible for administering SNAP. Applications may be made in person, mailed, faxed, emailed, dropped-off or submitted online.
    • Eligibility for SNAP is based on certain criteria that must be verified. This criteria includes:
      • Non-financial information
      • Resources
      • Income
  • 6. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus Bill)
    • Increased SNAP benefits by 13.6%
    • For a family of 4, that’s an additional $80 each month in food buying power
    • For Virginia, that’s an additional $128 million annually
  • 7. How are SNAP Benefits Issued?
    • SNAP benefits are issued through Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)
    • EBT has debit card technology; is accepted wherever Quest logo or card logo appears; and is issued by mail or vault supply to meet processing time.
    • Benefits are posted by 12:01 a.m. on the first day of month for ongoing households.
    • The vendor for the EBT system is ACS.
  • 8. SNAP Participation Rates
    • The participation rate measures the number of people that are eligible to participate in SNAP
    • As of December 2010, the SNAP participation rate in Virginia was 82%.
    • In January 2011, 397,508 households were served which included 842,225 individuals and $ 108,318,406 benefits issued.
  • 9. SNAP EBT and Farmers’ Markets
    • The number of farmers' markets licensed to accept SNAP benefits is increasing nationwide. 
    • As people discover the benefit of buying fresh, nutritious, local products, farmers and farmers' markets are seizing the opportunity to broaden their customer base by adding a SNAP payment option.
  • 10. Total No. of Farmer’s Markets and SNAP Participation
  • 11. Farmers’ Markets Redemption (in millions)
  • 12. Virginia Farmers Market EBT Program
    • Announced February 7, 2011
    • Provides incentives for markets/farmers to accept SNAP EBT
    • Application period closes February 25, 2011
      • May be extended
  • 13. Program Funding
    • Funding will cover the 2011 market season.
      • One Wireless EBT POS Device (which also can process standard credit cards (VISA, MasterCard) and bank issued debit cards)
      • First Installment Of SNAP EBT Tokens (debit/credit tokens not included)
      • Signage, Flyers, Posters and/Or Other Promotional Items
      • Inclusion In Statewide Marketing Plan
      • Technical And Programmatic Assistance
  • 14. Application Evaluation
    • Current FNS Approval To Accept Federal SNAP Benefits
    • Accessibility And Appeal Of Market/Farmer To Limited-Income Customers
    • Availability Of A Wide Variety Of Product Offerings That Can Be Purchased With SNAP Benefits
    • Participation In Other Food Access Programs (e.g. WIC And Senior Farmers Market Programs)
  • 15. Application Evaluation
    • Organizational Stability Of The Market
    • For Markets - Availability Of Critical Infrastructure (e.g. The Ability To Receive Verizon Wireless Signal, Commitment Of An EBT Coordinator, Plans For EBT Project Outreach)
    • For Individual Farmers - Availability Of Critical Infrastructure (e.g. The Ability To Receive Verizon Wireless Signal, Number Of Markets Attended Per Week, Location Of Roadside Stand, Plans For EBT Project Outreach)
  • 16. Win / Win
    • SNAP clients may take advantage of additional options to purchase healthy foods
    • Farmers Markets increase their revenue by expanding payment options
  • 17. Contact
    • For more information about SNAP, please contact:
    • Toni Blue Washington,
    • SNAP EBT Contract Administrator
    • at
    • [email_address]
    • For information about other programs please visit:
    • www.dss.virginia.gov