Food

Food Stamps Used at Farmers Markets Through SNAP in NY

Central New Yorker’s gather at local farmers’ market in Syracuse. (c) 2018 Isis Young

Click above to listen about the short term plan for food stamp purchases at farmers’ markets in New York. 

Audio Transcript: Young.Farmers.Script

By Isis Young SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Residents of New York recently lost the ability to use food stamps at farmer’s markets until Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a short term solution Friday.

Mobile Market Plus Nationwide was the vendor processing EBT benefits for New York but announced they would need to discontinue due to lack of funding.

Governor Cuomo initiated the agreement between New York State and the Farmer’s Market Federation of New York to bring in mobile application vendor, Novo Dia Group.

Cuomo says on The Governor’s Website, “New York will not stand idly by as the federal government’s ineptitude takes food out of the mouths of New Yorkers. While the federal government doles out a contract to an untested company using outdated technology, we will continue to protect not only our most vulnerable residents, but our hard-working farmers,” said Cuomo.

Novo Dia Group enables the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to service recipients of food stamps through a mobile application compatible with iPhone, iPad or iPod.

“Continuing the program at markets is important. We see a large quantity of it coming through our market alone. It’s great for both the customers and for the farmers,” said CNY’s Regional Market Authority Administrator, Amanda Vitale.

The time frame of this solution still remains a mystery to some farmer’s markets. Cuomo deemed the solution “short term” but has not established an end date.

“I’m not positive as to what he means by the end of the market season. We’re a year-round market so I’m unsure as to how long the solution is going to work for,” said Vitale.

This agreement also lays groundwork for the rest of the country using mobile applications to process food stamp purchases at farmers’ markets.

To find more information about SNAP, click here.