Using SNAP at the Farmers Markets
GrowRVA’s markets and many other area farmers markets now accept SNAP benefits. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamp program) helps people with low incomes buy food. SNAP benefits are accessed via an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
Customers: How to use your EBT card at our markets:
- Bring your EBT/Debit card to GrowRVA’s booth. It’s a small pink tent at the center of the market staffed by people wearing obnoxiously bright green soccer jerseys. If you need help finding the tent, just ask a vendor to point you to it.
- At the tent, decide how much you want to spend at the market. A staff member will then enter the amount of money you request and swipe your card. They will then ask you to enter your PIN.
- Once the transaction is approved, you will be given a receipt and tokens to spend at the market. Each token represents $1.
- Shop at the market for eligible foods using the tokens like cash.
- Vendors will not be able to give you change for your tokens.
- There is no expiration date on tokens and they can be kept from week to week. Or you may return any unused tokens for a refund to your EBT account.
Vendors - How to accept and get reimbursed for SNAP tokens:
- All vendors selling SNAP eligible food items will be given a SNAP envelope.
- During the market, accept the tokens as cash for eligible food items. Each token represents $1. However, program rules prevent you from giving change for the tokens.
- At the end of the market day, place the tokens in the envelope and return it to the GrowRVA staff.
- At the next market day, each vendor will receive a check for the value of the tokens they turned in the previous week. Part time vendors may have their checks mailed to them.
SNAP tokens CAN buy:
- Foods for the household to eat, such as: breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; meats, fish and poultry; and dairy products.
- Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.
SNAP tokens CANNOT buy:
- Any food served hot or ready to eat (as in on a plate and not wrapped to go)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Pet foods
- Non-food items
Everyone – Please help spread the word:
- Post a link to this page on your social media sites.
- Tell anyone you know who uses SNAP that they may now use their benefits at farmers markets.
- Contact Toni Blue Washington, EBT Project Consultant, Virginia Department of Social Services with questions about the Virginia Farmers Market Electronic Benefit Transfer Program.