Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Human Companies Secretary Teresa Miller in the present day highlighted a possibility for farmers markets to handle meals safety of their native communities and broaden their client base by profiting from free digital profit switch tools to simply accept Supplemental Diet Help Program (SNAP) advantages from residents.
“Farmers markets who don’t settle for SNAP are lacking a possibility to serve their neighborhood by offering those that depend on the advantages with entry to nutritious, native meals,” stated Redding. “Not solely does accepting SNAP profit your neighborhood, but it surely advantages you. It’s a possibility to broaden your client base and enhance your gross sales.”
The Division of Human Companies has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Division of Agriculture’s Meals and Diet Service (FNS) to assist entry to recent, wholesome meals for SNAP recipients whereas supporting Pennsylvania’s agricultural financial system. market homeowners ought to apply to be a licensed SNAP retailer by means of FNS. As soon as licensed to simply accept SNAP, distributors can contact Pennsylvania’s digital profit switch (EBT) supplier Conduent at 1-888-736-6328 to request free wi-fi EBT processing tools. The grant additionally covers set-up prices and one 12 months of SNAP transaction charges.
“Changing into a licensed SNAP retailer is a commonsense method to assist small companies develop their client base and to assist households to allow them to preserve meals on the desk. SNAP is the nation’s most necessary and efficient anti-hunger program; it helps people and households stretch their budgets, reduces the burden on native charitable meals networks, and helps native retailers and grocers,” stated DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “We need to do every thing we are able to to assist households who’re feeling this financial pressure most acutely and small companies which have needed to climate the final 12 months of financial uncertainty, which is why we’re so proud to supply this chance. I strongly encourage farmers markets throughout Pennsylvania to use to be a licensed SNAP retailer.”
Pennsylvania is dwelling to extra almost 1,000 farmers markets and on-farm markets, nonetheless solely 48 – lower than 5% – are registered with FNS to simply accept SNAP advantages. By profiting from the chance at no cost EBT tools to simply accept SNAP by means of the Division of Human Companies, farmers markets can supply a brand new avenue for Pennsylvanians who depend on SNAP to spend their advantages on recent, nutritious meals. For farmers markets operators, there isn’t a distinction in accepting SNAP than accepting debit or credit score transactions and SNAP advantages cowl the total worth that any client would pay at marketplace for merchandise.
“All through the pandemic, Managers of farmers markets and on-farm markets who redeem SNAP advantages have reported their redemption numbers have, most often, double from earlier years,” stated Brian Moyer, government director of the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Affiliation. “This displays the important function that these markets play as an important supply of meals and vitamin in our communities and the wi-fi EBT tools makes SNAP redemption simpler to make use of for outside neighborhood farmers markets.”
Farmers markets who function in city areas or different identified meals deserts throughout the commonwealth, or those that function with a cellular market mannequin, have an particularly distinctive alternative to fill a void and handle meals apartheid’s which have developed leaving residents who depend on shops inside strolling distance minimal choices for recent, nutritious meals outdoors of the shelf steady choices present in comfort shops. By accepting SNAP, city or touring markets can handle inequities of the meals system and enhance well being for individuals who stay there.
Households who’re having bother affording sufficient meals are inspired to reap the benefits of the Supplemental Diet Help Program. Previously generally known as meals stamps, SNAP supplies help to low-income and dealing Pennsylvanians, permitting them to buy produce and groceries for themselves and their household.
SNAP helps greater than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians, together with youngsters, individuals with disabilities, older adults, and dealing Pennsylvanians, broaden buying energy to make sure their family has sufficient meals to keep away from going hungry.
SNAP is issued by means of a month-to-month cost to an digital profit switch card, and advantages are primarily based off revenue and family dimension. Folks can apply for SNAP and different public help packages on-line at www.compass.state.pa.us or over the cellphone by calling 1-866-550-4355. Those that desire to submit a paper utility can print from the web site, choose one up at a County Help Workplace (CAO), or request an utility by cellphone at 1-800-692-7462 and mail it to their local CAO or place it in a CAO’s safe drop field, if out there. You do not want to know your individual eligibility with a view to apply. Whereas CAOs stay closed, work processing purposes, figuring out eligibility, and issuing advantages continues. Purchasers ought to use COMPASS or the MyCOMPASS PA cellular app to submit obligatory updates to their case information whereas CAOs are closed to the general public.
For extra data on meals safety in Pennsylvania together with details about sources and actions taken by the Wolf Administration, go to agriculture.pa.gov/foodsecurity.