SNAP authorization can help local farmers grow their business, farmers’ markets increase their customer base, and low-income households gain greater access to fresh produce
Atlanta, GA – American consumers are enjoying increasingly more opportunities to buy food directly from farmers and State and Federal Agriculture departments are working together to increase SNAP recipients’ access to farmers’ fresh products and farmers’ markets.
On Wednesday, Apr. 01, 2015, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service will join Mississippi State Agencies for Agriculture and MarketLinkTM to host a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Merchant Sign-up Day.
Grants are available for free wireless Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) equipment and internet access. The USDA SNAP sign-up day will provide a one-stop-shop to help direct marketing farmers get authorized, receive additional support for incentive programs to encourage SNAP customers to shop at farms and farmers’ markets, and help create a win/win situation for farmers, customers, and local economies.
“Mississippi’s farmers are instrumental in providing fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods throughout the State”, said Erin Swanson-Hall, Southeast Deputy Regional Administrator for USDA Food and Nutrition Service. “We are striving to expand access to healthy food to those participating in SNAP. We encourage direct marketing farmers and farmer's markets who are not currently participating in the SNAP Program to attend this special sign-up event. The ability to accept SNAP benefits helps farmers expand their customer base and economically support their local community.”
Mississippi SNAP authorized farmers and farmers markets can also participate in the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) to provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants and the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) at farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs. Go to www.fns.usda.gov/programs-and-services for more information.
Currently in Mississippi, there are 131 direct marketing farmers and 47 farmers markets authorized to accept SNAP statewide. Farmers who are interested in becoming an authorized SNAP Retailer should bring the following items to the sign-up event:
1. Picture ID (driver’s license or passport)
2. Social Security Card (or other official document with your name and SSN)
3. Copy of voided check for bank account you will use to deposit funds.
WHEN: Wednesday, Apr. 01, 2015 | 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: MS Agriculture and Forestry Museum
1150 Lakeland Drive
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD)or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).