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Farmers Markets

Using EBT Cards at Farmers Markets

Katie Spoden, AmeriCorps VISTA Member — Extension Food Access Project, and Mary Vitcenda, Senior Editor

July 2015; reviewed April 2017 by Laura Perdue, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition.

English | español

Spend $10, get $10! Use SNAP/EBT at farmers markets and get up to $10 in Market Bucks every time you visit the market.

Jump to Market Bucks

Wondering how to use your EBT card at Minnesota farmers markets? This short guide answers your questions about everything from which farmers market accept EBT cards to what you can and cannot buy with your card. Read the guide online, starting below, or download a copy in print form: Using EBT Cards at Farmers Markets (PDF).

More and more Minnesota farmers markets accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits when you shop with your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.

Check the website or Facebook page of your local farmers market to see if it accepts EBT cards. You can find lists of Minnesota farmers markets accepting EBT cards on the following websites:

How Do I Use EBT at a Farmers Market?

Infographic of EBT and Market Buck Initiative

Infographic provided by 2015 EBT and Market Buck Initiative Materials

Step 1: Locate the EBT booth. Booths often have a sign that says “EBT/Credit/Debit Accepted Here.”

Step 2: The terminal manager will swipe your EBT card for the amount you want to spend. Enter your PIN. You will receive wooden tokens, or some other type of scrip, for the amount swiped.

Step 3: Use your scrip to purchase eligible items from any vendor that accepts EBT. Eligible vendors will display signs indicating they accept EBT in their booths.

wooden token

How Do I Know How Much to Spend?

Option 1: “Window shop” at all of the vendors’ booths to create a list of the goods you want to purchase and their prices.

wooden token

Option 2: Before shopping, determine an amount to spend at the market based on your budget.

What Can I Purchase at a Farmers Market with My EBT Card?

The following items can be purchased with an EBT card:

What Can’t I Purchase at a Farmers Market with My EBT Card?

The following items cannot be purchased with an EBT card:

Market Bucks

SNAP/EBT customers can double their purchasing power at participating farmers markets. Every $1 of SNAP/EBT benefits spent is matched by $1 in Market Bucks — up to $10 every time a customer visits the market! Hunger Solutions Minnesota administers the program and has fliers and brochures available on their website.

The Twin Cities Mobile Market — a grocery store on wheels that brings fresh produce, meat, and groceries to 33 locations throughout the Twin Cities — also accepts SNAP/EBT and offers Market Bucks. See when it will be in your neighborhood on the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation's Find a Mobile Market Stop Near You web page.

Questions or Comments?

Contact the SNAP-Ed Team for more information.

Sources

United States Department of Agriculture. (2015). EBT — Learn about SNAP benefits at farmers markets.

Hunger Solutions Minnesota. (2016). Market Bucks.

Related Resources

Get Nutrition Assistance — Find resources to help you get connected to nutrition assistance no matter your individual situation. English | español

Seven Reasons to Shop at Minnesota Farmers Markets — Find out why shopping at farmers markets is beneficial to both individuals and Minnesota communities. English | español

Shopping at Farmers Markets — Tips on how to buy the best in-season, locally grown produce. English | español

SNAP and Farmers MarketsU.S. Department of Agriculture — Learn more about how EBT cards are used at farmers markets.

Market Bucks — Hunger Solutions Minnesota — This website provides information on its Market Bucks incentive program for EBT users shopping at farmers markets

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