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The Market Experience

Your local NY farmers market is more than a place to buy food; it’s an event you can share with your family and the surrounding community. Unlike grocery and convenience stores, the farmers market gives you an opportunity to meet the person who produced your food. That person can give you tips, recipes and insight on how to best work with their product – whether it’s a bushel of apples or a cut of meat.

How to Shop a Farmers Market with your Food Stamp Benefits.

This helpful video will show you just how easy it is to use your food stamp benefits to buy fresh, healthy, affordable, locally grown foods.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JDxvbyziMo

Using EBT at the Farmers Market: A Fresh Experience

There are many benefits of shopping at farmers markets for fresh, healthy local foods. One that stands out is the experience of shopping at farmers markets and interacting with farmers and producers. Watch this video to experience the Farmers Market.

http://www.youtube.com/user/nyfarmersmarket?feature=mhee

Preparing for a Market Trip

  • Use the market locator to find the market near you.
  • If you have a regular grocery list, take it along – you’d be surprised at what you can find at your local farmers market.
  • Arrive at the market when it first opens for the best selection; be sure to preview the entire market before making purchases. Many vendors sell the same thing – and you may like the price or selection of one over another.
  • If you use cash instead of or in addition to your tokens, vendors appreciate small bills and change.
  • Bring a cooler with freezer packs to keep any meat or dairy products cool while you shop; and bring your own totes to cut down on plastic bag usage.
  • Remember, your whole family – including children – is welcome. Some markets are even pet-friendly (call your local market to inquire first).

 

To learn more about nutrition programs in New York State, download our guide here.

To check your EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP card balance before heading to market, visit:

http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/fsnep/default.htm

http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/ebt/

Arriving at Market

1) Head to the table with the “Use Your Food Stamp (EBT) Card Here!” banner.

2) Use your EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP card to purchase as many $1 wooden tokens as you’d like. These tokens act as cash within the market.

3) Use your $1 tokens at any market booth that displays the “Food Stamp (EBT) Tokens Accepted Here” sign.

What You CAN Buy at Market With Your Tokens

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Plants that Grow Food (many are surprised to know this!)
  • Breads
  • Meat, Fish, Poultry
  • Dairy Products
  • Maple and Honey Products
  • Seeds and Plants that Produce Foods
  • Baked Goods: Wrapped, Labeled and Intended for Home Consumption
  • Jams, Sauces, Soups, Etc.

What You CANNOT Buy at Market With Your Tokens

  • Beer, Wine, or Liquor
  • Tobacco Products
  • Nonfood Items
  • Food Meant to be Eaten On-Site
  • Hot Foods
  • Vitamins and Medicines

Departing the Market

  • Jot down any vendors you particularly liked so that you can make time to visit their booth on your next visit.
  • If you don’t use all of your market tokens, that’s ok. You can keep your unused tokens for the next time you shop the market; tokens do not expire. Unused tokens may be exchanged at the token booth for a refund back onto your EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP card.
  • Tokens ARE market-specific and cannot be transferred between markets. Each token is labeled with the particular market it was distributed from.

 

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