Farmers markets throughout Washington participate in food access programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), WIC & Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), and special fruit and vegetable incentives (“SNAP Market Match”). These programs help everyone have access to fresh, healthy, local food and foster healthy communities and individuals by enabling low-income shoppers to purchase more fresh produce from local farmers.
To get help receiving food assistance in Washington State, contact Washington Connection by clicking here or calling (877) 501-2233.
How Food Access Programs work at Farmers Markets
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is the nation’s largest nutritional assistance program. Many farmers markets across the state accept SNAP. Shoppers visit the market information booth and ask to swipe their EBT card. The market then provides tokens for the amount swiped on the card. The shopper then spends the tokens with market vendors on SNAP eligible items. Eligible items are the same as at the grocery store and include fruits, vegetables, baked goods, seeds, meat, jams, jellies, bread, fish, vegetable starts, syrup and honey, dairy, and poultry. Please click here to sign up for SNAP in Washington State.
The Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) for Women and Infant Children (WIC) and Seniors provides vouchers to purchase purchase fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and fresh cut herbs at farmers markets. (Seniors can also buy honey.) Eligible families receive the vouchers from their WIC clinic or local senior agency and spend them directly with approved farm vendors at approved farmers markets. Please click here to sign up for FMNP.
Families and individuals can stretch their SNAP dollars at farmers markets across Washington State by getting “SNAP Market Match.” Simply go to a participating market’s information booth and tell them you’d like SNAP Market Match. Swipe your EBT card for the amount you want to spend. Shoppers receive “SNAP Market Match” dollars. Around the state, matches vary and typically are $2 for using $2 of SNAP; getting $2 for using $5 of SNAP, and a $1 for $1 match. You can buy fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, mushrooms, fresh herbs, seeds, and plants that produce food (for example, tomato seeds or tomato plants). Not all programs are offered year round, but operate when funds are available to do so.
For more information download brochure