News & Action Center
Farmers’ markets accept SNAP benefits
Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet but they’re not always easy to come by. Many low-income New Yorkers lack access to a supermarket that stocks a variety of produce and must rely on what they can purchase at convenience stores. Farmers’ markets help to fill that gap. Many are located in areas where there is no nearby supermarket.
Many farmers’ markets also help to increase access to fresh food by accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. SNAP provides all qualified applicants with a monthly supplement used to purchase food. According to the Farmers Market Federation of New York, more than 100 New York State farmers’ markets and mobile markets currently accept SNAP.
FreshConnect Checks and other coupon incentive programs provide a $2 incentive check for every $5 of SNAP benefits used at participating markets, thereby increasing the purchasing power of SNAP consumers by 40 percent.
According to the Farmers Market Federation, 2.3 million SNAP dollars were spent at NYS farmers’ markets in 2016. Those funds went directly to local farms and communities.
The Nutrition Outreach and Education Program, managed by Hunger Solutions New York, provides free, confidential SNAP information, education, prescreening and application services to low-income New Yorkers. NOEP Coordinators can also provide information on how to use SNAP benefits at a farmers’ market.