SNAP & Farmer’s Market

There are over 235 farmers’ markets across North Carolina, and each year, more and more of them begin to accept SNAP/FNS benefits.

Farmers’ markets offer a place to purchase affordable, local, fresh foods while enjoying yourself in a warm, welcoming environment.  Many are surprised to find produce at farmers’ markets  to be more flavorful, fresh, and even cheaper or equal in price to the same items at the grocery.   That is why more and more EBT shoppers are switching up their routine and stocking up on fresh foods at the farmers’ market.

HOW TO FIND AN EBT FARMERS’ MARKET

New farmers’ markets pop up every year, so it can be hard to keep track of markets hosted in your neighborhood.  There are a few ways to find farmers’ markets near you that accept EBT.

  1. Contact your local County Extension Office. Click to find your local office.
  2. NC Farm Fresh has a list of farmers’ markets across North Carolina that can be filtered by county. To find out if these markets accept EBT you can contact the number listed with the market, or search for their Facebook page.  Click to find the NC Farm Fresh directory.
  3. If you have no luck with either of the two options above, contact the More In My Basket At the Market team, and we will help locate a Farmers’ Market that accepts EBT near you.

HOW TO USE EBT AT THE FARMERS MARKET

Using SNAP at the Farmers’ Market is easy!  Farmers’ Markets use a system of market scrip such as wooden tokens or paper vouchers that is used like money to purchase qualifying items.

  • To get market scrip visit the market welcome tent, or ask a vendor where to find the market manager.
  • The manager will ask you how much of your SNAP benefits you would like to spend and swipe your card for this amount.  You will need to enter your secure PIN.
  • You will then receive wooden tokens, or paper vouchers equal to the amount you chose to deduct from your benefits.  Market scrip usually comes in $1 and $5 increments, and is used the same as cash.
  • To purchase items, simply visit stands selling eligible items and pay for the items you would like with the market scrip.

The items you may purchase with EBT at the farmers’ market are the same as those at the grocery store.  You may buy fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, baked goods, meat, eggs,  fish, poultry, honey, jams/jellies, and even food producing plants!  You cannot, however, purchase cut flowers or hot and ready to eat foods.

The tokens/vouchers are non-refundable, but can be used all season long.  Save extra tokens to use at your next trip.

INCENTIVE PROGRAMS

Many markets are now able to offer additional incentives to stretch your EBT budget while shopping at the farmers’ market.

“Double Bucks” or Dollar matching programs allow the farmers market to match your EBT dollar with an additional dollar from the market up to a certain amount.  This means, the $10 of benefits you spend, equals $20 in market scrip to purchase food at the farmers’ market!

Select counties across North Carolina also participate in the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs.

Participants who visit congregate nutrition sites in the participating counties will receive vouchers once per year that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets in that county.