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Farmers Markets May Soon Stop Accepting SNAP Benefits

Farmers Market
Reginald Hardwick
WKAR Public Media
Farmers Market in Lansing in Summer 2017.

Some Michigan farmers and farmers markets have until the end of August to change how they process SNAP benefit transactions – or risk not being able to offer the benefits. 

SNAP was formerly known as food stamps.

A company that provides SNAP transaction services to farmers and markets across the US is no longer getting federal funding.

Some 50 farmers markets across Michigan and dozens of individual farm businesses use Novo Dia to offer SNAP benefits.

Amanda Shreve is with the Michigan Farmers Market Association. She said SNAP benefits have become a way for more people to get fresh foods.

“Accepting SNAP benefits is a way to broaden a farmer’s customer base, increase their sales, and be more inclusive of all the members of the communities they serve," said Shreve. "Not just those with disposable incomes.”

Shreve says last year at least 600-thousand dollars in SNAP benefits were used at Michigan farmers markets.

That state has set aside money to provide a no-cost wireless point of sale devices to farmers markets.

That funding is available for the sites to transition to new equipment at no cost.

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