2012 PRESS RELEASES
Click here to e-mail this page to a friend.
August 16, 2012
ELECTRONIC BENEFIT TRANSFER MACHINES AVAILABLE TO VIRGINIA FARMERS’ MARKETS AT NO COST
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages managers of farmers’ markets across the state to go electronic with Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) machines. Adding EBT machines on site will allow eligible customers to use their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) vouchers for fresh produce, eggs and other fresh, healthy items at farmers’ markets.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making $4 million in funding available nationwide to place EBT machines in markets at no cost to the market. This action will increase the intake of healthy foods for SNAP participants while supporting the nation’s farmers and local economies. Virginia will receive $92,000 of that funding, based on the number of farmers’ markets currently not using EBT machines.
The Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) is administering the funds to support the purchase of wireless terminals so each market can accept SNAP. The presence of EBT machines on the market premises also will allow any customer to pay with a credit or debit card.
Matthew J. Lohr, VDACS Commissioner, says, “This program will help to ensure that our Farmers’ Markets are open and welcoming to all citizens of the Commonwealth and that healthy affordable Virginia grown produce is accessible to everyone.”
Market Managers need to contact Leanne DuBois at VDACS or Toni Washington at DSS by September 7 to apply for a machine. DuBois is available at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.225.3663. Washington is available at email@example.com or 804.726.7662.