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Montana Farmers Market EBT Manual


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Montana Farmers Market EBT Manual

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Montana Farmers Market EBT Manual

  1. 1. Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer ManualHow to Accept Farmers MarketSNAP Benefits EBTat Your Program Eat F r es h - H hy ealt - LocalFarmers MarketThis manual was written collaboratively by the Alternative Energy Resources Organization,the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology.The Farmers Market EBT Pilot Project was made possible through a grant from the Montana Departmentof Health and Human Services. For more information or to receive a copy of this manual contactTammy Hinman, NCAT agriculture specialist, at (406) 494-4572 or
  2. 2. How to Accept SNAP Benefits at Your Farmers Market Table of Contents Why accepting SNAP and debit and credit cards at your market is a win-win situation .............................................. 4 Market manager checklist for accepting SNAP benef its at your farmers market ..................................................................... 5 How to a start a farmers market EBT project ............................ 6 Getting authorized as a SNAP retailer ....................................... 7 Setting up the point of sale machine and token system........ 8 Market day procedures .................................................................. 10 Accounting procedures ................................................................. 13 Vendor education ............................................................................ 14 Outreach .............................................................................................. 16 How to fund a farmers market SNAP program ...................... 18 References........................................................................................... 18 Success stories ................................................................................... 19 Further resources ............................................................................. 20 Appendix 1: Third-party service provider spreadsheet ....... 21 Appendix 2: EBT Food Stamp pilot budget sample ............ 23 Appendix 3: Sample vendor token redemption forms ....... 24 Appendix 4: Vendor introduction sheet.................................. 26 Appendix 5: Accounting sheet samples ................................. 27 Appendix 6: Sample press release............................................. 30 Appendix 7: Vendor crib sheet – Farmers market nutrition programs ........................................... 31 All photos courtesy of Katie Knight, photographer for AERO,
  3. 3. stigma for SNAP consumers and Why accepting SNAP increases sales. In 2009 debit and and debit and credit credit sales were more than $53,000 at farmers markets participating cards at your market in the pilot program outlined in this publication. is a win-win situation A swipe machine provides low- Accepting Supplemental Nutrition income people with easy access to Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits locally grown fresh fruits and veg- at local farmers markets can be a etables while providing additional win-win situation. SNAP is the new revenue for the market vendors. name for the federal Food Stamp pro- Additionally, if using a wireless gram. Montanans were issued more device, vendors at the market can than $118 million in SNAP benefits also accept credit or debit cards, thus in 2009, and spent more than $31,000 further increasing sales to produce at farmers markets alone in 2009. and craft vendors. Accepting electronic Food Stamps allows SNAP clients to use their This guide is an outcome of a Mon- benefits to purchase nutritious local tana Department of Health and Hu- foods and support local farmers. man Services grant to pilot the imple- mentation of an EBT card program at All SNAP benefit purchases are now farmers markets in Montana. It will made with an Electronic Benefit outline the steps of setting up an EBT Transfer (EBT) card, which is similar program at a farmers market from to a credit or debit card. The card start to finish. There is a checklist for can be swiped at all locations where market managers on the following it is accepted. Most farmers markets page. The appendices contain sample purchase a machine that can also ac- forms that can be copied, modified, cept debit and credit, which reduces and used at your market.4 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  4. 4. Market manager checklist for acceptingSNAP benef its at your farmers marketNote: This is a quick-start checklist. These procedures are detailedfurther in the manual.Determine if your market iseligible and has the capacity  Complete training with the state FNS representative. “This program For vendors to be reimbursed Set up your market to accept is a win, win for for EBT purchases, the market must have a checking SNAP cards farmers market account. If your market does  EBT-only point of sale (POS) customers and not already have a checking machines are free. However, vendors. It will account, set one up before operation requires a tele- proceeding. A separate phone landline and access help increase checking account helps keep to electricity. sales and EBT transactions separate and helps with accounting.  Wireless POS machines that broaden your If you do not have a formal accept EBT, debit, and credit customer base.” cards can be purchased or organizational structure, you rented. The cost to purchase a –Brent Sarchet, Helena must have another organiza- wireless POS machine ranges Farmers Market tion be a fiscal agent and be the from $900 to $1,500, and service responsible party for the Food fees average $35 a month. and Nutrition Service, who authorizes SNAP retailers.  Individual farmers can buy a wireless POS EBT, debit, and credit machine individually, butBecome authorized to accept we recommend having a centralelectronic nutrition benefits kiosk managed by the farmers To be eligible, markets must market staff to avoid long lines and recordkeeping problems. sell food products including produce, dairy, meat, and baked goods.  Purchase tokens for the market. Note: Paper scrips can Download the application at be used in lieu of tokens. However, they are not recommended, as they are easier to counterfeit ebt/fm.htm or call 1-877-823- and less durable. 4369 to have an application sent to you.  Develop market-day procedures that provide: Fill out the application and re- • A staffed central kiosk turn it to the Montana office of for consumers to swipe the U.S. Department of Agricul- their cards, ture Food and Nutrition Servic- • A system for vendor es (FNS) Office (see address in reimbursement. the Further resources section) with required documentation.  Develop an accounting system to track EBT, credit, and debit Indicate to FNS your point of transactions and fees. sale choice: EBT only or EBT and debit/credit.  Train all participating vendors. Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 5
  5. 5. The participant’s card is swiped by How to a start a farmers the market representative and debits market EBT project the amount requested. This amount is transferred from the customer’s Most farmers markets use a cen- account to the market association’s tral point of sale (POS) machine, bank account within 48 hours. The which allows all eligible food market’s EBT representative then vendors in a multi-vendor farm- issues tokens for the amount with- ers market to sell eligible food drawn from the customer’s card. products to SNAP recipients (EBT cardholders) without each vendor The customer shops with the tokens being separately authorized by the at all eligible food booths in the U.S. Department of Agriculture market. At the end of the market day, Food and Nutrition Service. vendors turn in their tokens to be The central POS machine is located at reimbursed the following week. The a market information table that has market can immediately reimburse a market representative, staff mem- vendors, but the funds from EBT ber, or volunteer who is authorized may not be available for one to two by the market leaders and has been business days after the transaction. trained to manage the POS transac- It is important to maintain proper tions. Signs at the market direct the records and to have a system that cardholders to the information table. prevents fraud. EBT, SNAP, Food Stamps … What Do These Terms Mean? SNAP is the new name for Food Stamp benefits. It stands for the Supplemen- tal Nutrition Assistance Program. The benefits for SNAP are now issued via card. In Montana, this card is the Access card. The cards help reduce social stigma that was once associated with the paper Food Stamp program. Cards are just like a credit card and used at stores through swipe machines called an Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, system. A point of sale device allows this trans- action to take place. Most farmers mar- kets use some form of point of sale (POS) device to swipe SNAP cards. A farmers market can purchase a device that also accepts debit and credit cards.6 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  6. 6. Getting authorized 10 West 15th Street, Suite 1500 “Completing Helena, MT 59626 the applicationas a SNAP retailer (406) 441-1190 form was difficultTo begin accepting SNAP anddebit and credit cards, first down- Once approved, an FNS agent will because it is de- conduct an on-site visit and inspec- signed for groceryload an application from the USDA tion of the market. The agent willFood and Nutrition Service (FNS) provide official documentation stores. It wasat recognizing the organization as difficult to answerebt/fm.htm. You may also call an authorized retailer of SNAP questions that did1-877-823-4369 to have an applicationsent to you. benefits. The agent will also provide not pertain to a signs for the market and individual farmers market,To complete the application, vendors to display. These signs but once we wereyou will need: will inform the public about which vendors are participating. up and running • A bank account there were no This application process takes 30-45 days to complete, if all the items problems. Each • A copy of your social security card on the checklist are correct and the transaction went application does not need to be through without • A copy of your photo amended. When visiting applicant a glitch and the identification markets, the FNS agent will provide customers were all the markets with a FNS vendor • A Federal Employer very pleasant to Identification Number is number and license. The agent will not necessary to complete review the regulations with the work with.” the application, but if you market manager and provide an –Kristi Wetsch, have one include it on official SNAP EBT manual and DVD Gallatin Valley Farmers the application explaining the program in detail. market managerThe application will ask questionsabout your market as if it were agrocery store. In addition to pro-viding information about vendors,types of food sold, and total reve-nue, you must also provide identifi-cation verification, including a fiscalagent tax identification number orthe social security number(s) of ap-propriate farmers market board ofdirectors member(s). Please see thechecklist of required documentationincluded in the application.Send your completedapplication to the FNSHelena office:Department of Public Healthand Human ServicesFood & Nutrition ServiceHelena Field Office (303) Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 7
  7. 7. option. There are several advantages Setting up the to this method. One is the potential point of sale machine for increased sales, as customers do not have to stop at an ATM or and token system forego additional purchases once While waiting for your FNS applica- their cash is all used. They can go tion approval, it is a good idea to right to the central POS station and start researching options for a POS get additional funds for the market. machine. The market can purchase a Another significant advantage is that wireless swipe machine that pro- it reduces the potential stigma of us- cesses EBT as well as debit and cred- ing market tokens for SNAP custom- it cards, or order an EBT-only swipe ers. If debit and credit customers machine through the USDA Food are using similar tokens for their and Nutrition Service. Each market purchases, it is less obvious when an will have to decide what is best for SNAP customer uses tokens. its situation and budget. Below is a The disadvantage for the wire- breakdown of point of sale machine less EBT, debit, and credit system options for your market. is that the market must purchase the machine and pay subsequent EBT-only machine: usage fees. The third-party POS The state of Montana provides at provider that sells the machine will no charge a machine that only ac- set up an account to automatically cepts the SNAP card. This machine transfer funds from the customer’s requires a phone line and electric- account to the market’s account. In ity at the site. The advantage to this addition to a monthly handling fee, machine is that it is cost-free. The each transaction that occurs will market will not be charged for the also have a swipe fee. You will be machine or for the processing fees. required to sign a contract with the The disadvantage is that it requires a third-party provider before setting phone line and electrical service on- up the account. You should know site. For some markets this may not beforehand how much you will be an option. be charged for fees and average monthly costs. Also be sure to know EBT, debit, and credit: the terms of your contract with the If it is not feasible to have a phone third-party provider. and electrical hook-up at the market, or if the market and vendors want to Purchasing a POS machine provide debit and credit card ser- There are many vendors that sell vice, purchasing a wireless machine POS machines. The fees are gener- from a third-party vendor is the best ally charged per transaction and If you decide to use a wireless POS machine, be sure to note that on your FNS application with the understanding that you will be responsible for paying or leveraging the cost of the third-party pro- cessor. Otherwise, the Montana FNS will send you a free landline EBT-only machine. Always check to be sure your farmers market location receives wireless service before purchasing a wireless machine. This can be done by checking your cell phone reception at the market site. If you have service, you will have wireless reception for your POS machine.8 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  8. 8. there is also an overall percentage is one way to do this; for exampleservice fee. The cost of the machine red can indicate SNAP tokens andcan range from $700 to $1,500. An green debit and credit tokens.inexpensive machine will often have Tokens may only be used at thehigher service fees, so be thorough market where they were purchased,in your research. See the appendices so they must have the market namefor a breakdown of national and or logo printed on them.state third-party vendor fees andmachine costs. An alternative to using tokens may be developing currency often called mar-There is a list of some of the third- ket bucks in similar dollar vendors the authors of this Market bucks are easier to counterfeit,report have researched along with but it is possible to avoid this problemmachine costs and service fees in by using watermarked paper.Appendix 1. These fees and costs aresubject to change, so be sure to askwhat current costs are. Tokens are not interchangeable.Purchasing market tokens SNAP tokens cannot be usedTokens are easy to use and make as change for debit and creditshopping at the market fun. Since tokens. No change can be giventokens are more difficult to duplicate for SNAP tokens, so NO CHANGEthan paper, they are more secure. GIVEN should be printed onTokens may be purchased online from each SNAP token.a number of vendors. See the Furtherresources section for token sources.The retailers listed in the Furtherresources section have several sam-ples of token designs. Prices varydepending on style and color. Thetokens should be printed specificallyfor each market. It is recommendedthat markets design one side of eachtoken side with the market logo orname and a value amount, and thephrase NO CASH VALUE on theother side. We recommend $2 tokensfor SNAP tokens and $5 tokensfor debit and credit tokens. Somemarkets find it simpler to use only$2 tokens for SNAP tokens and $5tokens for debit and credit. The debitand credit tokens should be similar,but easily differentiated from theSNAP tokens. Using different colors Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 9
  9. 9. Market day procedures The Helena Farmer’s Market pays A centrally located kiosk should be set a person to tend the market kiosk up to handle all SNAP and debit and each week. The salary is funded credit transactions. In small markets, with vendor fees. This person does the market manager may be able to accounting and transaction proce- handle operation of the machine, but dure on a laptop computer during in most markets a staff person or vol- the market’s slow times. When the unteer will need to be trained to run market ends, the staff person is the program, operate the machine, finished for the week. Market man- and provide accounting assistance for ager Brent Sarchet says, “Having a the vendors at the beginning and end friendly helpful person running the EBT booth is a must.” of each market day. The Gallatin Valley Farmers Market Staffing options has paid staff who also serve for your market: other functions at the market. Paid staff Kristi Wetch, Gallatin Valley Farmers Market, says “We have three trained The advantages to paying a staff staff who swipe the customer’s card person is that this person will most and ask them how much they want likely be more reliable than a volun- deducted from their account. They teer. Create a job description, includ- then give the client that amount ing the number of hours expected and in tokens and notify them that the job responsibilities. One of the pilot tokens can be spent only at our markets paid someone 8 to 10 hours a market for that particular season.” week for the duration of the season. An average expectation to pay someone is: 8 hours × $8/ hour = $64/week × the number of weeks your market is in operation (for example, 26 weeks) ________________________________ $1,700/ per season (See sample budget in Appendix 2) Volunteers Not every market can afford to pay a staff person. Volunteers are an option if you are able to find a reliable person. The following are options that have worked for other markets throughout the country and within Montana: • AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers • RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) Find one for you region by visit- ing programs/rsvp.asp10 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  10. 10. • Vendors rotate duties (only for small markets)• Some markets have a Friends of the Market committee that helps dur- ing market day. Provide T-shirts for volunteers and a special table for gathering• Local service clubsThe EBT, debit, and credittransactionTo conduct a transaction, the staffperson asks the customer howmuch they intend to spend. Thestaff person then swipes the cus-tomer’s card through the machineand enters the amount of money thecustomer would like to withdrawfrom his or her account. A balance should be trained to advise custom-will indicate the amount available. ers to use all tokens on the day theyAfter swiping the card, the cus- receive them. This will keep thetomer will enter his or her personal accounting procedures balanced.identification number (PIN) on the Customers with unredeemed tokensmachine pad. This amount will be can be reimbursed, but this re-transferred to the market’s checking quires crediting their SNAP accountaccount within 48 hours. The cus- through the POS machine, and is atomer will then be given the correct labor-intensive process. We do notamount of token dollars to spend at recommend advertising this at yourany of the approved vendors. booth, but if a customer asks, theNo change in cash can be given for Food and Nutrition Service requiresSNAP tokens. Market representatives that their request be fulfilled. Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 11
  11. 11. Vendor redemption the previous week. The check can and payment be placed in the vendor’s envelope prior to the market. If this system is At the market, customers will take used, the check from the last market their tokens to the vendor to pur- chase eligible items. Having the ven- day of the season should be mailed dor collect the tokens in an envelope to the vendor within a week.“All programs provided by the market has worked Many markets are able to write aare good as long well for the Montana pilot proj- check the same day that the tokensas it is easy to ect. At the end of the market, each are redeemed. This requires extra vendor brings their collected tokens redeem the token to the POS booth, signs a vendor money in the market checking or coupon. The account to cover the cost until the token redemption log, and receives reimbursement amount is trans-best programs a receipt or check for the number of ferred to the market account.are where the tokens redeemed that week. See amarket manager sample of the vendor token redemp- Note: Some vendors will choose to store tion log in Appendix 3. their tokens until they have enough tohas control so warrant a check. While this reduces theyou know exactly An alternative system is to place a separate log sheet in an envelope number of tokens that can be used bywho to talk to. for each vendor at the beginning of customers each week, it is a nice serviceThe vendor must each market day. At the end of the for the vendors. In the pilot, vendorsremember what day the market manager or repre- said that this method was their prefer-token or coupon sentative will collect the envelopes, ence. However, to avoid losing tokens along with the tokens. The following at the end of the season, tell the vendorsyou cannot give week the vendor will receive a check that they will not be reimbursed for to-change on.” for the amount of token sales from kens redeemed after the last market day.–Helena FarmersMarket Vendor12 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  12. 12. the vendors. See Appendix 5 forAccounting procedures sample accounting sheets forChecking account these processes.To have reimbursements automati-cally transferred, each participating Monthly accountingmarket must have an active checking statementaccount. The SNAP reimbursements Each month the market manager ”Recordkeepingwill be transferred in a lump sum, or market SNAP coordinator willor batch to the account, usually each receive a statement showing the is important,weekend. Debit and credit transac- EBT, debit, and credit card transac- but don’t maketions will be transferred according to tions from either the third-party POS the process tothe card company’s schedule, typi- provider or the state office (depend-cally within 48 hours. Checks to the ing on which device is used). These complex or timevendors will be written out of this should correspond to the batch consuming.account and distributed according to receipts that the machine prints out Keep it simpleeach market’s operating procedures. at the end of the market day.At the end of the market day, print but effective.” At the Gallatin Valley Farmersout a batch receipt from your POS Market the vendors bring the tokens –Brent Sarchet, Helenamachine for the day’s transactions. to the information table at the end Farmers MarketThere is little accounting that needs of each market and the market staffto be done, but it is important to complete a form for each vendor.keep accurate records. It is crucial The vendor prints their name, writesthat the individual vendors have a down the amount of tokens theyrecord of their sales and are reim- received that day, and then signs thebursed each week for the amount of form. The next Monday, the marketthe previous week’s sale. There is a office staff writes and sends checksspace on the vendor token redemp- to the vendors based on these forms.tion log to show the date the check Kristi Wetsch, the Gallatin Valleywas issued and the check number. Farmers Market manager, explainsThere is a sample form in Appendix their vendor communication strategy.3 of this manual. “Each vendor, at the beginning of the season, receives a letter fromVendor redemption us explaining how they can acceptEach week a market representa- SNAP tokens. This is done to preventtive should record the number of vendors from accepting tokens whotokens distributed to customers, the are not eligible. Each vendor who cannumber returned by the vendors, accept SNAP tokens is given a signand the checks written to reimburse to place at their vendor booth.” Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 13
  13. 13. increased sales at their stand. Also Vendor education stress that this a good service for the Once the system is in place, market farmers market to provide for people vendors need to be trained on how with limited incomes. the program works, and what they can and cannot sell to EBT customers. It is important that the vendors sup- Differentiating tokens port the program. Let vendors know When debit and credit customers the potential for extra customers and receive their tokens, they can purchase any product without restriction. They can also receive Before beginning the program at your market, be sure each change back for their tokens. It is participating vendor receives the following: important that ALL vendors are • Vendor information sheet familiar with the different tokens so that they do not accept SNAP • Vendor token redemption envelope tokens for non-eligible items, which • We Accept Food Stamps sign for the booth or table is a violation of accepting SNAP • We accept Visa/MasterCard sign, if applicable benefits. Also, SNAP purchases cannot receive change back. It is • A list of eligible and ineligible purchases helpful to the SNAP customer to Samples of some of these sheets are available in the Appendices. add another carrot or so, so that the amount is rounded up to the $1 or14 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  14. 14. $2 SNAP token increment. Inaddition, vendors should be made These productsaware that they cannot be reim- ARE ELIGIBLE to be purchasedbursed for improperly used tokens. with EBT tokens:Provide a vendor handout • Produceto all vendors • Dairy productsThe sample vendor introduction • Meatsheet in Appendix 4 will help to • Wrapped baked goodsexplain the program to vendors. • Wrapped cold sandwichesBe sure to list eligible and ineligi-ble items, how to record the number • Vegetable or herb seeds orof tokens used, how to redeem bedding planttokens, and any rules of operationfor the program. It is helpful to These products arehave the token samples on the NOT ELIGIBLE for purchaseintroduction sheet. It should also with EBT tokens:include instructions on how ven- • Alcoholdors will be reimbursed for their • Tobaccotokens and receive their money • Pet foodeach week. • Any non-food itemIt might be helpful to personallyhand out the information sheet to • Any food served hot such aseach participating vendor and ask if coffee or tea drinksthey have any questions or concerns • Any prepared food item meantabout the program. This would be to be eaten on-site, such as iceanother way to ensure that the ven- cream bars, hot dogs, burritos,dors support the program and that cinnamon rolls and moreany concerns are addressed. Vendor testimonials “The EBT, WIC, and Senior Programs are particularly important to us because they introduce new people to the market and promote local food systems, and provide access to fresh nutritious food for people that need it.” – Helena Farmers Market Vendor “The Food Stamp (EBT token) worked well for us. It was very easy. Same with debit and credit tokens. Between the two it was about 8 percent of our business.” –Clark Fork Farmers Market vendor Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 15
  15. 15. publicity to your market and the fact Outreach it accepts SNAP cards. A sample press Being approved to accept SNAP release is in Appendix 6. benefits is only the first part of the process. An outreach and education At the market: plan is an equally important piece of • Post We Gladly Accept EBT any farmers market SNAP project. signs at market entrances and at The following are some ideas that the kiosk. can be implemented in each market • Clearly identify the card-swiping and the community. kiosk. For example, use a sign Create an event around launching that says Get [market name] your farmers market EBT project. Get farmers market dollars/tokens a local celebrity or government figure here at the EBT booth. to make the first card swipe. This • Post We accept EBT/credit/debit will attract the media and bring more tokens here signs at participating vendor stalls. • Encourage vendors to highlight individual versus per pound prices. For example, post a sign that shows: 4/$2 versus $4/ pound. Note: Vendors are required by FNS to post all prices. In the community: • Posters listing farmers mar- kets accepting SNAP cards (a graphic of the card is helpful) by county or region, or individual markets, can be posted at Of- fices of Public Assistance, WIC (Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Food and Nutri- tion Education Program) offices, community health clinics, senior centers, food banks, Head Start programs, libraries, job service offices, laundry mats, and more. Work with other farmers mar- kets if applicable. • Contact local schools to have information included in their newsletters. • Flyers should be distributed at the same locations and handed out at nutritional education events, SNAP outreach occa- sions, health fairs, and more.16 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  16. 16. • The phrase We Gladly Accept Other ideas SNAP/debit/credit should be on • Develop newspaper and other all market posters, flyers, event media articles highlighting announcements, press releases, program partnerships and print ads, free listings, websites, contact the local newspaper. and other promotional materials. Healthy Incentive Programs • Use media and the local higher Some markets have developed education institution’s financial matching programs that match aid office for college students. SNAP purchases with market • Advertise on local public trans- currency, or market bucks. portation systems. These programs are very popu- lar in the areas where they have • Promote the program through been piloted. See the Success local churches. stories section below for more • Hang promotional posters in details on this. thrift stores, video stores, and • Get farmers market SNAP other locations. program information on local radio, TV, and theNote: EBT is an internal term used by Internet with ads (if possible),farmers markets and other entities in interviews, press releases,the Department of Public Health and and other outreach materials.Human Services. It is not used oftenby SNAP recipients, so use of the word • Have family days at theSNAP, or the Montana Access card in market with kids’ activitiesMontana, will help customers recognize and cooking demos.that their SNAP benefits are accepted at • Highlight this service onthe market. your market website. Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 17
  17. 17. how to maintain staff salaries How to fund a farmers and fees to continue to support market SNAP program for the project. Grants or donations Charge debit and credit customers $1-2 a swipe. Keep in mind that you Some farmers market associations cannot charge SNAP customers to will fund the start-up costs for swipe their card. farmers market SNAP projects. As of the publishing of this manual, Increase vendor fees by $5-$10 a there is grant money available season. Vendors may be in favor of from the Department of Health and this option once they see how much Human Services Farmers Market income the machines generate. Some EBT Expansion. markets rent an ATM machine and split the swipe fee ($2.50-$3) with Other potential donors include: the service provider. • Local banks or credit unions • Annual sponsorship from local References: businesses such as farm stores and health markets 1) Langan, Linda. 2007. Spring Promotion Ideas. Newsletter of the • Local service clubs EBT Farmers Market Nutrition • Some local foundations Promotion Project March 2007. Ecology Center, Berkley, CA. Generating income 2) Doyle, Mary Ellen. 2007. Food Another option is generating income Stamps and Farmers, It’s a WIN- to pay for staff people and fees associ- WIN: Farmers’ Toolkit for Accepting ated with the wireless machine. This Electronic Food Stamps. University has been done at several markets in New England Master in Public Montana. The markets that partici- Health (MPH) Graduate Program. pated in the pilots each determined maryellen.doyle@maine.gov18 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  18. 18. Success stories Market Bucks incentive programCalifornia Ecology Center runs theCalifornia Farmers Market EBT Proj- New York City farmers markets pro-ect. They have done many outreach vided an opportunity for residentsefforts in communities with farmers to buy fresh and affordable producemarket SNAP projects. while supporting regional farmers. Health Bucks, worth $2 each, devel-The EBT Farmers Market Nutrition oped and distributed by the NewPromotion Project is an effort by the York City Health Department Dis-California Ecology Center to pro- trict Public Health Offices were usedmote nutrition and fresh fruits and to purchase fresh fruits and vegeta-vegetables to SNAP clients through bles at participating farmers marketseligible California farmers markets. (listed on each Health Buck).Farmers markets are eligible if they At farmers markets that acceptaccept SNAP market-wide and oper- Food Stamps (EBT), one Healthate in a neighborhood where over Buck coupon was given to eachhalf the population is at or below customer for every $5 spent using185 percent of the Federal Poverty Food Stamps.Level. Some of the services that theyare providing to markets are: See the following website for more information on this: • Tastings and cooking demos html/doh/html/cdp/cdp_pan_health_ • Brochures, free nutrition educa- bucks.shtml tion information, and free recipes Market manager and vendor • On-site signage education and outreach • Nutrition-focused prizes The New York Farmers Market and giveaways Federation has helped managers with in-person training and an on- • Monthly produce observances line training presentation. They also • Market tours provide the managers with a media kit and access to many online forms. • Culturally appropriate foods at the farmers market The Oregon Farmers Market As- sociation has provided many online • Nutrition educators with resources for participating farmers same language and cultural market managers. They have several background. online templates for accounting,See the California Ecology Center recordkeeping, and vendor tallywebsite for more information: sheets. org/EBT/ebt.html Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 19
  19. 19. PaymentTech Further resources 1-800-824-4313 General farmers market and EBT resources Total Merchant Concepts The Farmers Market Coalition has Eric Jenks a resource library with information Business consultant on most topics associated with farm- 1-888-249-9919 ers market management. They also FAX (360) 260-7992 or have an online library of farmers 1-800-659-5859 market EBT resources. See for more information. Frontline Processing Becoming an (based in Bozeman) authorized retailer: 1-866-651-3068 Food and Nutirition Service info@frontline Montana Field Office, Helena (303) 10 Weset 15th Street E-funds - Owned by Fidelity Suite 1500 National Information Services (FIS) Helena, MT 59626 Clyde Terry (406) 441-1190 Sr. Account Manager, eFunds For online information and application: Corporation - Government Solutions (801) 444-9950 Third-party point of sale FAX (801) 444-9951 (POS) provider breakdown: First National Merchant Solutions The information below is for educational They have a terminal rental program purposes only. NCAT does not endorse Jason Butts any specific provider. Each market (402) 602-4053 should research and select a provider 1-800-516-6242, ext. 4053 that is best suited to their specific needs FAX 1-866-483-4725 because each provider has different financial structures and fees for EBT Token sources: and debit and credit use. Old Time Wooden Nickel Company Below are local and national compa- 1-800-750-9915 nies that have assisted other markets in buying and setting up a card processing account. Kardwell International 1-800-233-0828 Big Sky Commerce Contact: Kevin 2809 Connery Way Montana Marketing Missoula, MT 59808-1922 (based in Helena) (406) 327-0611 (406) 449-7446 www.mtmarketing.com20 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  20. 20. Appendix 1: Third-party service provider spreadsheet Food Stamp and Debit Service Wireless Third Party Processor Options Big Sky CardService Paymentech TMC Frontline We Win Commerce Intnl 800-824- 888-249- 866-651- EnterprisesStart-up costs: 406-327- 800-456- 4313 9919 3068 579-5621 0611 5989Machine cost $1,395 $800 $890 $949 $840 $600Activation fee $99 $0 $35 $0 $100 $100Pin pad cost for debit $109Total start-up costs $1,494 $800 $925 $1,058 $940 $700Variable costs:Debit-Avg # oftransactions 20per marketCredit-Avg #transactions 15per marketEBT - Avg #of transactions 10per market Debit transaction $0.21 $0.25 $0.20 $0.22 $0.20 $0.15 fee Credit transaction $0.21 $0.25 $0.20 $0.22 $0.20 $0.15 fee EBT transaction $0.20 $0.18 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.15 feeDebit costs/market - includes $7.35 $8.45 $6.04 $7 $5.56 $4.80percentage feesCredit costs/ $5.51 $6.34 $5.07 $5.91 $6 $3.83marketEBT Costs/ Market $2 $1.80 $2 $2 $2 $1.50Total debit costs- 26 weeks $191.10 $219.70 $157.04 $181.90 $151.32 $124.80(6 months)Total credit costs $143.33 $164.78 $131.82 $153.58 $162.76 $99.45- 26 weeksTotal EBT costs $52 $46.80 $52 $52 $58.76 $39- 26 weeksTotal $386.43 $431.28 $340.86 $387.48 $372.84 $263.25variable costs Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 21
  21. 21. Appendix 1: Third-party service provider spreadsheet cont.’d Big Sky CardService Paymentech TMC Frontline We Win Commerce Intnl 1-800- 1-888- 1-866- Enterprises (406) 327- 1-800- 824-4313 249-9919 651-3068 (406) 579- 0611 456-5989 5621Fixed costs:Monthly charges $192 $336 $390 $108 $150 $120(x 6 months)Annual fee $29 $25 $75Total estimated $192 $336 $390 $137 $175 $195Fixed costsTotal estimated $2,072.43 $1,567.28 $1,655.86 $1,582.48 $1,487.84 $1,158.251st year costs22 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  22. 22. Appendix 2: EBT Food Stamp pilot budget sampleYear 1 AmountExpenditures*Wireless terminal, pinpad, programming $900*Checks (for vendors) $14*Transaction fees $100*Tokens $250*Printing $83*Office supplies $51.39*Table, cash box, storage bin, stapler, scissors, etc. $104*Magnetic white board $20*Advertising (Newspaper 2 spots) $250*Miscellaneous, EBT flag, DVD VHS copies $300*EBT assistant wages ($8.00 X 8hr-wk X 26 wks) $1,700 Expenditure total $3,772.39Year 2 AmountExpendituresToken replacement $50EBT assistant $1,700Printing, office supplies, trash can, sign $157.29*Transaction fees $315.16Advertising (newspaper) $215Merchant support (third party) ($25.00 per month, 6 months) $150 Expenditure total $2,587.45 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 23
  23. 23. Appendix 3: Sample vendor token redemption forms Helena Farmers’ Market Vendor Token Tracking Form* Vendors, when signed by market, this is your receipt, please keep in your envelope Vendor nameProducts sold $1 (black) Credit $5 *Used at any vendor, any item, change back & Debit (white) $1 (green) *Used at vendor with approved Food Stamp items, no change back EBT $5 (yellow)Vendors only Market only EBT tokens Credit & debit Total Market check Market tokensDate # Denom- $Value(A) # Denom- A+B # Tokens Denom- $Value Signature Tokens ination Tokens ination ination1-Sep- 1 1 107 5 5 58-Sep- 1 1 107 5 5 515-Sep- 1 1 107 5 5 522-Sep- 1 1 107 5 5 529-Sep- 1 1 107 5 5 56-Oct-07 1 1 1 5 5 513-Oct- 1 1 107 5 5 520-Oct- 1 1 107 5 5 527-Oct- 1 1 107 5 5 53-Nov- 1 1 107 5 5 524 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  24. 24. Appendix 3: Sample vendor token redemption forms cont.’d The Original Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market A Project of Career Transitions, Inc. P O Box 145 Belgrade, MT 59714 406-388-6701 Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market 2009 EBT Project Daily Voucher Redemption Log Date _____________ EBT Manager ______________________ Vendor Name $Value Vendor Signature Date Reimbursed Check No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Total Voucher Values ____________________ Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 25
  25. 25. Appendix 4: Vendor introduction sheetFood Stamps EBT at the _______________________ Farmers Market Vendor EBT/Food Stamp Information SheetWe will start accepting Food Stamps on ____________. Customers will come to your booth with $1 or $2Market Tokens. You can collect them throughout the day, and return them to the EBT person at the end ofthe market. You will receive a check the following week for the amount of tokens you collect.The following are some guidelines and rules set by the US Department of Agriculture:• The customer will decide how much they want to spend• The Food Stamp representative will swipe their card at the EBT market booth and get instant authorization,• Customers will receive either $1 tokens or $2 tokens (or both) and use them at stands that are authorized to accept EBT approved products.• At the end of the market, you can turn in the tokens and will be reimbursed the following week for the total amount sold.Please display your “We Accept EBT Tokens/ Vouchers” sign at your booth each week.NO CHANGE - you may not give change in any amount for the tokens. They will be in $1 and $2 denominations.It is illegal to exchange cash for Food Stamp benefits, so the customer will be encouraged to use the full amount.What can I sell?• Okay: Produce, milk, meat, bread, candy, cold prepared foods, seeds and plants or seeds for growing food.• Not okay: alcohol, tobacco, pet food, any non-food item, and any food served hot or “meant to be eaten in the store,” such as ice cream or coffee.EBT holders must pay for their purchases at the time of sale. So you may not take payments before they getthe items and you may not give them items and accept payment later.IMPORTANT:Your feedback, comments and questions about this pilot will contribute to its success and our ability to helpfarmers in the region and across the country expands their ability to utilize this system. Violating the rules willnot only stop us from being able to accept EBT Cards, but also affect the ease with which other farmers andmarkets around the region can use them.Thanks for your cooperation and enthusiasm. Please contact [Market manager, Phone # and Email] with anyquestions or concerns you may have.26 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market
  26. 26. Appendix 5: Accounting sheet sample 1 Helena Farmers Market - EBT, Debit, Credit Summary - 2009 DATE # CREDIT AMOUNT #DEBIT AMOUNT #EBT AMOUNT #TOTAL TOTAL TRANSAC- CREDIT TRANSAC- DEBIT TRANSAC- EBT TRANSAC- AMOUNT TIONS TIONS TIONs TIONS4/25/09 2 $67 1 $27 0 $0 3 $945/2/09 1 $50 3 $48 1 $100 5 $1985/9/09 8 $261 6 $175 2 $54 16 $4905/16/09 2 $50 7 $154 3 $32 12 $2365/23/09 13 $355 10 $212 4 $60 27 $6275/30/09 11 $485 4 $90 0 $0 15 $5756/6/09 4 $135 2 $40 1 $10 7 $1856/13/09 4 $71 14 $317 3 $51 21 $4396/20/09 4 $120 4 $90 2 $18 10 $2286/27/09 8 $211 5 $230 3 $70 16 $5117/4/09 4 $166 11 $437 6 $95 21 $6987/11/09 10 $340 3 $55 14 $320 27 $7157/18/09 12 $480 11 $264 7 $117 30 $8617/25/09 4 $138 18 $478 5 $90 27 $7068/1/09 6 $341 13 $275 2 $26 21 $6428/8/09 10 $240 6 $90 12 $266 28 $5968/15/09 15 $465 12 $290 6 $94 33 $8498/22/09 12 $513 15 $422 6 $120 33 $1,0558/29/09 12 $320 8 $128 9 $134 29 $5829/5/09 9 $205 6 $99 13 $348 28 $6529/12/09 14 $253 8 $165 12 $240 34 $658TOTALS 165 $5,266 167 $4,086 111 $2,245 443 $11,597 Montana Farmers Market Electronic Benef its Transfer Manual: How to Accept SNAP Benef its at Your Farmers Market 27