Farmers' Market Program

In order to participate in the EBT Farmers’ Market Program, each market must be authorized by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)[1] benefits. To apply, call (877) 823-4369 or click here

Most EBT farmers’ markets use scrip. Scrip is a type of currency, in the form of paper or tokens (wooden or plastic), designed to be unique to each market, in denominations of $.50 and/or $1.00. From a central location at the farmers’ market, EBT cardholders can use their EBT cards to purchase scrip. They use this scrip to purchase CalFresh-eligible items from farmers at the market. At the end of the day, farmers are reimbursed by the market for the amount of scrip they have received. 

IMPORTANT: A farmers’ market must have its scrip approved by the FNS before the market can participate in the Farmers’ Market Program. The specific requirements can be obtained by contacting the FNS at (623) 203-7401 or (503) 326-5971 ext. 26. Visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/ebt/fm.htm for more information.

Transaction Process

    There are two ways for a farmers’ market to process an EBT/scrip transaction: 

  • Wired point-of-sale (POS) equipment
  • Wireless POS device

  • Wired POS Device
    Standard wired POS equipment is provided by the state and is available to all California farmers’ markets authorized by the FNS to accept SNAP/CalFresh benefits. Wired POS equipment requires an electrical outlet and an analog telephone line.

    Wireless POS Device
    This is a mobile version of the standard wired POS equipment; it does not require a telephone line or an electrical outlet to process EBT transactions. If a farmers’ market does not have access to a telephone line or electrical outlet at the market, it may be issued a wireless device. Because a wireless device is more costly than a wired device, the deployment of a wireless POS device to a market must be approved by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). For more information, contact the CDSS Farmers’ Market Specialist at (916) 654-1396.

    Information
    For more information about participating in the Farmers’ Market Program, call the FNS at (623) 203-7401 or (503) 326-5971 ext. 26, or call the farmers’ market specialist at the California Department of Social Services at (916) 654-1396.

    [1] As of Oct. 1, 2008, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program.