“On average, about 20 cents of every SNAP dollar spent on food ends up in the pockets of American farmers. Allowing families in need to buy food directly from local farmers provides a boost to local economies,” USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said. “America’s farmers offer a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are the foundation of a healthy diet, and USDA has made it a priority to improve direct access between farmers and SNAP participants over the past several years. Healthy eating reduces health risks later in life, which helps reduce our nation’s health costs over the long run. This new data shows that these efforts are working to provide farmers with a larger customer base and to provide families who use SNAP with more options to buy healthy food.”
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has been working to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale equipment to allow more farmers markets to participate in SNAP. Launched in January 2014, Marketlink.org is a one-stop information center where farmers markets and farmers can find out how to participate in SNAP and, if eligible, how to obtain SNAP EBT equipment. Installing wireless technology at farmers markets expands the customer base for markets and increases the share of the SNAP dollar that goes directly back to local farmers, strengthening local economies.
SNAP is one of 15 nutrition assistance programs administered at the federal level by FNS. It’s the nation’s first line of defense against hunger and helps put food on the table for millions of low income families and individuals every month. Nearly half of SNAP participants are children, and 42 percent of recipients live in households with earnings.