In order to local foods more accessible to more people, there has been a lot of effort over the last few years for farmers markets to accept SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) through EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer…folks get a card like a credit card). Our own farmers market in Detroit Lakes got authorized to accept SNAP about 4 years ago. It was not a great success. We tried again last year, but the vendors chose not to pursue it again for this year. Many felt we were not reaching enough people for all the logistics and effort involved – dealing with credit card companies and the wireless terminal technology does take some effort, much less communicating the program to all vendors at a time of year when everybody’s under the stress of the farm season.
I’ve always felt that good local food should be accessible to everybody. Too often the only people at farmers markets or signing up for a CSA have graduate degrees and drive a Subaru or Volkswagen (things which also characterize myself). So, recently we authorized Lida Farm itself to accept SNAP benefits and got enrolled in a program called Marketlink, funded through the USDA. Since we were the only vendor authorized at our farmers market, we qualified and now have a iPhone with a card reader and even a wireless printer for receipts – pretty slick. We will be able to start accepting SNAP at the Lakes Area Farmers Market in DL on Saturdays and also accept SNAP for CSA payments.
For CSA members we’ll be open Sunday for a Pea Pick. If you would like to pick some more peas, please come on out to the farm anytime from 9 am to dusk.
In the CSA box:
- Green Cabbage
- Snap Peas
- Salad Mix
- Summer Squash: Most got a yellow summer squash and a zucchini. You’d use the yellow the same as the green