SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formally known as food stamps, has historically been accepted at grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and only a select amount of farm stands. However, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like we are going to see a shift to more farm stands/stores accepting SNAP/EBT, especially as farmers’ markets are delayed, reduced in hours and/or vendors, or cancelled. Individuals on SNAP receive a monthly deposit onto their EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card in which they can use the funds to purchase food at the outlets listed above (online purchasing pilots are currently being tested in other states, but only for a specific set of larger commercial entities). SNAP eligibility is income driven and is a program to address food insecurity among low income individuals.
Resources available for individuals enrolled in SNAP/EBT services include the ability to receive a discount on fruit and vegetable purchases through Double Up Food Bucks and Granite State Market Match. By utilizing one of these services, you can essentially receive 50% off your fruit and vegetable purchases! At Seacoast Eat Local, we work with the New Hampshire Nutrition Incentive Network, who developed Granite State Market Match. Local farmers’ markets and farm stands/stores that participate in this program have the ability to offer this service (50% of fresh fruits and vegetables) to SNAP customers. If you are SNAP customer and interested in purchasing a CSA we also offer a great deal for a fruit/vegetable CSA from a farm of your choice. As of right now these are the farms accepting SNAP on the Seacoast:
Current changes are being made to policies related to SNAP and they may affect you if you are currently utilizing SNAP. The Families First Corona Virus Responce Act of 2020 was recently put into place to alleviate some of the food access and financial issues that have been associated with the COVID-19 crisis. The act implies that it:
-Temporarily suspends the work and work training requirements for SNAP during this crisis.
-Temporarily removes the time limit on SNAP for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents.
-SNAP households will be receiving a one-time (at this time, however as the crisis continues there may be more) increase on their current monthly allotment up to the maximum allotment for a household that size.
If you or someone you know is currently struggling with food insecurity, you can apply for benefits by visiting https://nheasy.nh.gov/#/ or call 1-844-275-3447. There are also other resources including food pantries in the area that are offering food to individuals and families in need.
If you are a farm and have an operating farm stand or store and would like to offer SNAP/EBT services please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.