Monday, April 28, 2014 - 1:47pm
Dane County and the City of Madison are partnering to maintain an important food access program operating at the Dane County Farmers’ Market in 2014, which will benefit low-income consumers by providing access to healthy local food, and benefit local producers by providing demand for their products. Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards are the plastic payment form for low-income individuals receiving food stamps (SNAP), and the Dane County Farmers Market (DCFM) has a point-of-sale machine to process EBT funds into paper script to allow for the purchase of farm fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market. Patrons swipe their EBT card, choose the amount they’d like to spend at the market and receive DCFM’s unique scrip, which can be exchanged with DCFM market vendors for food purchases.
“We are pleased to join the county to ensure programming is maintained at the Dane County Farmers’ Market for SNAP participants,” said Mayor Paul Soglin, “SNAP is the critical safety net in the fight against hunger and programming at farmers’ markets provides equal opportunity for everyone to access fresh, healthy, and local food.”
“This partnership with the City of Madison will help ensure that people have more access to fresh food, healthy food for their families,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “The SNAP program, and maintaining its link to farmers markets, is critical for so many families.”
Since 2012, the Community Action Coalition has handled the DCFM’s ever-increasing EBT redemptions. As a result of this program, last year Dane County Farmers’ Market (DCFM) customers spent almost $50,000, the most federal food assistance dollars of any market in Wisconsin. In early 2014, the Community Action Coalition indicated that due to a shortage of program funds, they would be unable to continue to operate EBT redemptions at the Dane County Farmers Market for the duration of the year.
Dane County and the City of Madison are partnering to identify an operator of this program. Public Health Madison &Dane County is seeking an operator for the Dane County Farmers’ Market Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) participants in 2014. Responses to the Request for Proposals will have the option of requesting additional funding for providing programming at additional markets and the administration of the City’s farmers’ market incentive program, piloted last year.
Any responses to the Request for Proposals are due by the close of business on Monday, May 12, 2014.
Questions can be submitted to Mark Woulf, Food and Alcohol Policy Coordinator, City of Madison, (608) 266-4611.
- Mark Woulf, 608-266-4611