Udall: Almost $35,000 to Farmers Markets for SNAP Families
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will award approximately $34,700 to New Mexico farmers markets to help give financially struggling families access to healthy, fresh food. These funds are part of a $4 million award to provide wireless Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) systems for the 7,100 farmers markets nationwide.
Currently, Farmers markets, which usually do not have access to phone lines or electricity, have difficulty redeeming Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through the EBT system. The wireless EBT system will allow SNAP participants to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables while supporting local farmers and communities.
In 2011, Udall sent a letter to the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee urging them to allocate the needed $4 million in funding.
There are currently over 1,500 farmers markets using EBT technology. Since 2008, SNAP expenditures at farmers markets have risen by 400 percent.