BISMARCK, N.D., July 10 -- The North Dakota Department of Human Services issued the following news release:
Town Square Farmers Market in Grand Forks is the latest farmers market in North Dakota to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits via electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income families buy food. The market has approximately 50 individual vendors offering a wide variety of items that can be purchased with SNAP benefits.
The Grand Forks market joins these other participating markets who accept SNAP benefits: BisMarket Farmers Market in Bismarck; Hildebrant's Farmers Market in West Fargo; North Prairie Farmers Market in Minot; Skyline Ranch Produce with farmers markets in Bismarck, Beulah, Hazen, and Washburn; and William Erbes Farm in Fargo. For market hours and locations, visit www.nd.gov/dhs/services/financialhelp/foodstamps.html.
"Fresh produce from local farmers markets is the cornerstone of healthy family meals during the peak growing season," said Arlene Dura, SNAP program director for the N.D. Department of Human Services. "The additional market in the northeast part of the state will allow more people access to fresh home-grown fruits and vegetables."
The department has funds available to reimburse markets for costs up to $1,300 for the purchase of point-of-sale machines including wireless that scan EBT cards. Other grant funding opportunities are available through USDA to help more farmers markets cover startup costs.
The SNAP EBT Farmers Market program is open to any food producer in North Dakota. Interested farmers markets need to apply to USDA and follow federal SNAP rules and policies.
Dura said the department collaborates with the N.D. Department of Agriculture on outreach efforts to encourage individual and cooperative farmers markets to become authorized and certified by the USDA Food and Nutrition Services to accept SNAP EBT benefits.
Each month, SNAP helps about 54,160 qualifying low-income North Dakotans by providing about $6.3 million in benefits that help individuals and families purchase food at over 450 participating grocers or farmers markets. Almost half of the program participants are children; many others are elderly or have disabilities.
For more information on the N.D. Department of Human Services' SNAP EBT Farmers Market program, or to become an authorized market, contact the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at 701-328-2328, toll free 800-755-2716, ND Relay TTY 800-366-6888, or firstname.lastname@example.org.