WACO (December 8, 2012)--The Waco Downtown Farmer's Market began accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, today.
A new federal grant provided $4 million in funding to help bring EBT technology to farmer's markets across the U.S.
According to the USDA website there are more than 1,500 farmers markets across the nation accepting SNAP.
"We are supporting local farmers by issuing government dollars so its one more way we can help stimulate the economy," Bethel Erickson-Bruce, Waco Downtown Farmer's Market said.
The grant money is used to bring technology to the market so that EBT cards can be used to purchase products.
"We worked over the past year with the United States Department of Agriculture, the Texas Department of Agriculture as well as Health and Human services Corporation to help insure that policies allow new technology to be used in farmer's markets like this so they can accept SNAP," Doug McDurham, Texas Hunger Initiative said.
Not only does the new initiative bring fresh, local foods to SNAP users, but it also supports the local economy.
"It broadens your customer base, allows people to purchase from you that couldn't normally," Brandon Tull, farmer said. "It strengthens the local food economy."
The Texas Hunger Initiative is working with local organizations like Caritas and the Hunger Coalition to inform people who use SNAP that their benefits can be used at the farmer's market.