Press Releases

Farmers' markets, vendors can sign up Jan. 5 to get free equipment to accept SNAP benefits


For Immediate Release
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
For more information contact:
Ted Sloan
(502) 564-1138

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky farmers’ markets and their vendors that currently do not accept SNAP benefits can start doing so by signing up to receive free EBT equipment on Monday, Jan. 5 during the 2015 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference.

Formerly known as food stamps, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are issued electronically via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), which is like a debit card. Equipment is necessary to process a SNAP purchase using the EBT card. Some markets and vendors may qualify for free wireless equipment.

“Increasing the availability of EBT equipment is a win-win for Kentucky farmers’ markets and local farm vendors across the Commonwealth,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “Not only will it enable SNAP recipients to buy healthy and nutritious food, it also will improve the income of Kentucky farmers.”

Markets and vendors can sign up between noon and 7 p.m. EST in the Keeneland Conference Room on the first floor of the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington.

Four items are required to sign up:

  • email address;
  • identification card or document with a photo, such as a driver’s license, military-issued ID, or passport;
  • Social Security card or other official document with name and Social Security number; and
  • copy of a voided check for the bank account that will be used to deposit funds.

A SNAP/EBT workshop titled “Benefits of Accepting More than Cash” will be held from 4:10-5 p.m. in Coldstream Meeting Rooms 1 and 2 at the hotel. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has arranged for staff with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service and MarketLink, which administers the program, to provide additional information on the program and how to apply.

Sign-ups will continue after the workshop and, providing the application and required documentation has been submitted, approval can be completed within a few hours. Once the markets and/or vendors have been approved by the USDA FNS office, they may view the EBT machine options and place their order.

Market operators and/or vendors interested in signing up for the program are asked to email Sharon Spencer, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s farmers’ market program coordinator, at whether you plan to attend the conference or would like information at a later date.