The Minnesota Department of Human Services has announced that EBT cardholders can now use their food stamps at farmers markets throughout the state. This is great news for those who are looking for fresh, healthy, and local food options!
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1.EBT cardholders can now use food stamps at farmers markets in Minnesota
1.EBT cardholders can now use food stamps at farmers markets in Minnesota
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits can now be used to purchase food at farmers markets across the state of Minnesota. This is part of a pilot program that was first launched in 2011 in New York state.
Minnesota is the second state to participate in the program, which aims to provide more access to healthy and local food for SNAP recipients. In order to use their benefits at farmers markets, SNAP recipients will need to purchase a “market voucher” which can then be used like cash to purchase eligible food items.
Farmers markets play an important role in increasing access to fresh and healthy food, and this pilot program will help more Minnesotans be able to take advantage of all that our state’s farmers markets have to offer.
How this will benefit Minnesota’s EBT cardholders
Farmers markets provide a great opportunity for Minnesota’s EBT cardholders to purchase fresh, local, and healthy fruits and vegetables. This new program will allow EBT cardholders to use their food stamps at participating farmers markets throughout the state.
This is a great way to promote healthy eating habits among Minnesota’s EBT cardholders and help them stretch their food budgets. In addition, this program will also support local farmers and businesses.
What farmers markets will be participating in this program
The Minnesota Department of Human Services has announced that food stamp recipients will be able to use their benefits at farmers markets beginning this month. This is part of a pilot program that will run through the end of the year, and will be available at markets in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Dakota counties.
Dakota County farmers markets that will be participating in the program include:
-The Burnsville Farmers Market (opens June 3)
-The Farmington Farmers Market (opens June 7)
-The Lakeville Heritage Farmers Market (opens June 14)
-The St. Paul Farmers’ Market (opens June 17)
-The Minneapolis Farmers Market (opens June 24)
Ramsey County farmers markets that will be participating in the program include:
-The St. Croix Valley Growers Association’s farmers markets in Stillwater and Woodbury
-The Maplewood Community Farmers Market (opens May 27)
-The North Saint Paul Farmers Market (opens June 3)
How this program will benefit farmers markets
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, offers assistance to low-income individuals and families to help them buy food. In an effort to make healthy foods more accessible to SNAP recipients, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has now launched a program that allows EBT cardholders to use their benefits at farmers markets.
This is good news for both farmers markets and SNAP recipients. For markets, it means increased foot traffic and sales. And for SNAP recipients, it means greater access to fresh, healthy, locally-grown food.
There are close to 100 farmers markets participating in the program across the state, and that number is expected to grow. If you’re a SNAP recipient in Minnesota, be sure to check if your local market is participating so you can take advantage of this great opportunity!
How this program will benefit Minnesota’s economy
Farmers markets provide an opportunity for small farmers to sell their products directly to consumers, and they have been growing in popularity in recent years. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the number of farmers markets in the United States has more than doubled since 2006.
Minnesota is no exception, with farmers markets popping up all over the state. However, many of these markets do not accept food stamps (also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits), which can exclude low-income families from being able to shop there.
That changed this year when a new program called “Market Bucks” was launched in Minnesota. The program allows SNAP recipients to use their benefits to purchase “market bucks” that can be used like cash at participating farmers markets.
The Market Bucks program is a joint effort between the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and it is currently being piloted in two counties: Hennepin and Ramsey. If successful, the program will be expanded to other counties in Minnesota.
The Market Bucks program is just one example of howMinnesota is working to make healthy food more accessible for all residents. By increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables, the state hopes to improve public health and boost the economy by supporting small businesses.
What other states have similar programs
In Minnesota, EBT cardholders can now use their food stamps at farmers markets. This is a great way to get healthy food while also supporting local farmers.
Other states with similar programs include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
How this program could be improved
EBT cardholders in Minnesota can now use food stamps at farmers markets, which could help to improve access to healthy food options for low-income residents. However, the program could be further improved by increasing awareness of its existence and by providing more outreach to farmers markets that accept EBT cards. In addition, the state could provide more financial incentives for farmers markets to participate in the program.
What challenges this program may face
The expansion of the program to include more farmers markets is a welcome development, but it faces several challenges. First, many farmers markets are only open for a few hours each week, which may be difficult for some EBT cardholders to accommodate. Second, not all farmers markets accept credit or debit cards, so cardholders may need to bring cash to purchase their food. Third, some farmers markets may not have enough vendors to meet the demand from EBT cardholders.Fourth, the use of EBT cards at farmers markets may require some education for both cardholders and vendors.
Despite these challenges, the expansion of the program is a positive step towards making healthy food more accessible to low-income families in Minnesota.
What impact this program could have on Minnesota’s food system
The EBT cardholders in Minnesota can now use food stamps at farmers markets. This program will have a positive impact on Minnesota’s food system by making healthy and fresh food more accessible to low-income families. This will also help to support local farmers and businesses, and create jobs in the agricultural sector.
How this program could be expanded in the future
Since 2008, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has offered the farmers market nutrition program (FMNP), which allows EBT cardholders to purchase fruits, vegetables, and honey at participating farmers markets. In order to use their benefits at the market, cardholders must first purchase “market bucks” from a participating market vendor. The vendor will then give the cardholder tokens or a swipe card that can be used like cash at other participating vendors’ stalls.
In order to make the program more widely accessible, DHS is working on expanding it to include additional farmers markets and food retailers. They are also working on creating an online marketplace where EBT cardholders can order food directly from growers and producers.
This program has been shown to promote good nutrition and support local farmers and businesses. It is one of many ways that Minnesota is working to ensure that all residents have access to healthy food options.