EBT Equipment Options for Farmers Markets
FNS places a high priority on expanding SNAP participants’ access to fresh and healthy food through farmers markets and direct marketing farmers. The following two programs are available to help markets and farmers procure equipment to process SNAP transactions:
- FNS EBT Equipment Program: This program offers low-cost, wireless EBT point-of-sale (POS) equipment to eligible markets and farmers. The program pays for the equipment and service fees for up to 3 years, including set-up costs, monthly statement fees, and wireless plan fees. The market or farmer is responsible for paying transaction costs, the costs of scrip systems (paper, ink, tokens, etc.), and fees to terminate an existing contract. At this time, applications for this program have been suspended until further notice. To be contacted when the program resumes operations, please email FarmersMarket@fns.usda.gov.
- State Equipment Programs: States are required to make no-cost, EBT-only POS equipment available to retailers, such as farmers markets and direct-marketing farmers, that are exempt from the 2014 Farm Bill requirement that SNAP retailers pay for their EBT equipment. Although FNS encourages States to make this option wireless, that is not always the case. Please check with your State SNAP Contact to determine if this option may work for your market or farm.
In cases where a market is unable to operate an EBT device on site, the market may use manual vouchers. To obtain manual vouchers, the market must contact their State’s 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 the 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).