Free SNAP EBT Equipment
FNS places a high priority on expanding SNAP participants’ access to fresh and healthy food through farmers markets and direct marketing farmers. To encourage participation in SNAP, markets and farmers may be eligible to receive FREE equipment capable of processing SNAP transactions and debit/credit transactions.* Below are links to more information on these opportunities:
- Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program from FNS’ contractor, the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC)
- State Farmers Market SNAP Contacts
Other Reduced Price Point-of-Sale (POS) Equipment
In cases where a market or farmer is not eligible for free SNAP EBT equipment, State or Federal funds may be available to help them pay for a portion of such equipment. Please check with your State SNAP Contact to determine the availability of such funds.
Additionally, some States offer equipment that only processes SNAP transactions. Such equipment is 100% free to markets and farmers (i.e., no fees/costs whatsoever). Check the Farmers Market Coalition’s (FMC) state resource list to see if your state offers this type of program. In contrast, FMC’s program offers funding for wireless equipment that processes both SNAP and credit/debit transactions. Such equipment, and service from 1-3 years, is offered free of charge; however, markets/farmers remain responsible for transaction fees associated with such equipment.
In cases where a market is unable or unwilling to operate an EBT device on site, the market may use manual vouchers. To obtain manual vouchers, the market must contact their EBT processor to request the specific vouchers accepted by that particular EBT processor. To use manual vouchers, market staff must call the State’s EBT processor to verify that funds are available in a customer's EBT account and, if so, place a hold on the purchase amount. The customer must then sign a voucher for the purchase amount, which the market must mail to the EBT processor. The EBT processor will then pay the market, via direct deposit (usually within two business days).
* Some States offer equipment that only processes SNAP transactions. Such equipment is 100% free to markets and farmers (i.e., no fees/costs whatsoever). In contrast, FMC offers equipment that processes both SNAP and debit/credit transactions. Such equipment, and wireless service from 1-3 years, is offered free of charge; however, markets/farmers remain responsible for transaction, processing, and licensing fees associated with such equipment. We anticipate that FMC will offer a 100% cost-free equipment option to markets and farmers in the near future.