Friday, August 30, 2013

Funds for EBT machines in Florida expire September 30!


Visit the Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Inc. site! They support and promote organic and sustainable agriculture by educating consumers, farmers, future farmers (children & youth), businesses, policy makers and the general public. 

Attention Florida farmers markets and farmer----This month they are spreading the word on connecting Farmers markets with EBT machines.
 – You all have just over a month left to apply for SNAP authorization and a state-funded EBT machine!
Florida was allocated $78,749 to purchase electronic benefit transfer (EBT) machines for farmers markets. This money MUST be used before September 30th, 2013. So far, only $19,908 have been spent! We (FOG) have $58,841 (74.72%) remaining!
In May of 2012, $4 million was appropriated for the purchase or rental of a wireless device and related SNAP fees for markets across the US. The purpose of the funds is to increase the availability of point-of-sale (POS) equipment in farmers markets not currently participating in SNAP. These are two-year funds, and must be used by September 30, 2013. The USDA funds can be used to cover the purchase price or rental fees of a wireless POS device, a one-time account setup/application fee, and monthly wireless fees (necessary to operate SNAP on the device). EBT transaction fees, cost of tokens, signage, and promotional materials are not eligible to be covered by the funds. Devices purchased or rented with federal funds may also accept commercial debit/credit cards.
Previously, the funds were only available to farmers markets. In May of 2013, USDA announced that the funds would also be made available to individual farmers if the farmer participates in a market that does not currently offer SNAP access. Check out this information sheet to see if you or your market is eligible, and learn more about the process
Additionally, your market might be eligible to participate in Florida Organic Growers’ (FOG)’s new program, Fresh Access Bucks, a double value coupon program that allows SNAP users to double their food dollars for Florida grown fruits and vegetables at farmers markets statewide.
If you have further questions about this funding, EBT at farmers markets or the Fresh Access Bucks program, please feel free to contact Carmen Franz at FOG atcarmen@foginfo.org.
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