Pennsylvania Offers Farmers Markets Free Equipment for SNAP

Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to support access to fresh, healthy foods for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients while supporting Pennsylvania’s agricultural economy. Interested market owners should apply to be an authorized SNAP retailer through FNS. Once authorized to accept SNAP, vendors can contact Pennsylvania’s electronic benefit transfer (EBT) provider to request free wireless EBT processing equipment. The grant also covers set-up costs and one year of SNAP transaction fees. Although Pennsylvania is home to more nearly 1,000 farmers markets and on-farm markets, less than 5% of these are registered with FNS to accept SNAP benefits. Administration officials say this program that provides EBT equipment can help decrease food insecurity, increase consumption of healthy foods, and help build new markets for agricultural producers.