Shoppers using their EBT cards to access their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits can take advantage of a new program at the Twin Town Gardeners Market, which starts up again Thursday, July 11.
The new Market Match program will match up to $10 on an EBT account.
“We’re able to accept anybody’s EBT, from any state. SNAP is a federal program, so we can process transactions for anybody,” said Sarah Boesen, Wilkin County self-sufficiency advocate with Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership. “If they would like to use their EBT card, they can stop at my booth for Lakes and Prairies. We will swipe their card for the amount they want to spend at the market, and I will do a dollar for dollar match up to $10.”
For example, if a person wants to swipe for $10, they will get an additional $10 in SNAP tokens which can only be used at the market, giving them $20 to spend.
“The market tokens can be used at a later date, but only at the market,” Boesen clarified.
The market offers fresh, locally grown produce and homemade baked items, jams, jellies and other homemade foods. It gives those using SNAP more healthy options and is a revenue stream to local growers.
Last year her agency processed roughly $400 worth of EBT sales at the gardeners’ market, and in 2017, processed about $300 in EBT sales.
“Word is out that people can use their EBT cards there and having that incentive to stretch their dollars, it’s helping make the EBT last longer,” she said.
Her goal is to use $1,200 for 120 transactions this year.
“It’s not an ongoing program. Once the funds are used, they are gone,” Bodsen said.
It should also be noted that an individual using the Market Match program can only do one transaction per market day, she added.
The Market Match program is made possible by a grant and collaboration with the Richland Wilkin Community Foundation.
The Twin Town Gardeners’ Market kicks off the season at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at the Sears parking lot in Wahpeton, where it’s been held for the last several years.