TOPEKA – The spring and summer months mark the opening of farmers markets all across Kansas. The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is working with local growers to accept the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card as a form of payment. EBT cards are provided to participants of the Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP). Eighteen Kansas farmers markets accept the EBT card and DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore encourages more of them to join this growing trend (participating farmers markets are listed below).
“We often hear that healthy food is difficult to find and is unaffordable,” Secretary Gilmore said. “We want Kansans to know, nutritious fruits and vegetables are available in their communities and with the help of farmers, we can ensure that putting high quality foods on the table is a cost-effective option.”
The United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded a $4 million grant to the National Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The funding is being allocated to farmers markets so they can purchase EBT technology to process SNAP payments. DCF has played an active role in making this new opportunity available in the communities that need it most.
“Several farmers are now in the process of getting their equipment to help them grow their businesses and farmers markets,” Secretary Gilmore said.
Some Kansas farmers markets also participate in the Double Up Food Bucks effort. Five Kansas City area farmers markets match up to $25 per week, so that SNAP households can make their food assistance benefits go even further. Lawrence’s farmers market also recently announced a similar program for low-income customers. For more information about the Kansas City area matching programs, visit http://beansandgreens.org/markets/kansas .
For more information on the National Farmers Market Nutrition Program and how to apply to the free EBT equipment, visit www.marketlink.org.
For a complete list of Kansas farmers markets, visit http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/.
Kansas farmers markets that currently accept the EBT card as a form of payment include: