Fresh Bucks & SNAP/EBT
What is SNAP/EBT?
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Formerly known as Food Stamps, SNAP is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. The federal nutrition program allows people to use SNAP benefits to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and other outlets like farmers' markets.
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT): EBT is an electronic system that allows state health and human service departments to issue benefits via a magnetically encoded payment card.
“SNAP/EBT,” “SNAP,” and “EBT are often used interchangeably but remember: SNAP is the name of the benefits consumers receive to purchase food. An EBT card is how they spend those benefits. Therefore, most recipients refer to the program as EBT rather than SNAP.
Does CLFN accept SNAP?
We do! Our Veggie Van Mobile Market can accept SNAP/EBT payments when purchasing your local fresh produce. Standard SNAP exceptions apply.
How does someone receive SNAP?
Individuals apply to receive SNAP benefits through their county’s Division of Social Services (DSS) office. A county DSS office case manager determines an applicant’s eligibility for SNAP and the number of benefits the client will receive. The client receives a plastic EBT card, similar to a debit card.
When paying with an EBT card, the SNAP customer swipes the card at a Point of Sale (POS) terminal and enters the PIN. If authorized, the purchase amount is deposited in the retailer’s account and deducted from the SNAP customer’s account.
What are Fresh Bucks?
Fresh Bucks are extra market dollars for SNAP/EBT recipients to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at the market. Fresh Bucks double the buying power of SNAP/EBT recipients at the market, matching up to $20 per market per day.
How does Fresh Bucks work?
Customers who purchase produce using their EBT card are given additional Fresh Bucks via a matching program visible on your receipt. The market is paid for the SNAP/EBT transaction by the federal government through their EBT point-of-sale system and is paid for the Fresh Bucks through RAFI-USA.
As the Fresh Bucks program is funded through the USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives grant, Fresh Bucks tokens are eligible to be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables only.
So if I use my EBT card, I get half-priced produce?
Actually, yes! For example, if you purchase $20 in eligible produce at our Veggie Van Mobile Market, the total amount withdrawn from your EBT card/SNAP account is only $10. This is true up to $40 per day ($40 - $20 match max = $20 SNAP). Again, this match only applies to fruits and vegetables.
I still have questions.
That's okay. It's a new program in our area. Please reach out to our Executive Director, Stacy Macklin, with any other questions, and she will be happy to help.