Wisconsin has received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service as part of a nationwide effort to increase farmers’ market participation in SNAP, also known as FoodShare in Wisconsin.
The program seeks to give low-income families and individuals increased access to nutritious foods, bring more business to farmers, and promote our local economies.
This funding will be used to provide farmers’ markets with the Point of Sale devices necessary to accept FoodShare benefits. The state Department of Health Services (DHS) is asking farmers’ markets interested in this opportunity to complete an application and submit it to DHS at DHSFarmersMarket@wisconsin.gov no later than July 13.
Each selected farmers’ market is eligible for one wireless POS device. The farmers’ market will be responsible for all ongoing costs, such as wireless access, maintenance costs, and transaction fees.
To be eligible for this funding, farmers’ markets must meet certain criteria:
· The farmers’ market must have received its individual SNAP authorization after Nov. 18, 2011. If a farmers’ market does not currently have SNAP authorization, the application process must begin no later than Aug. 1. To apply for SNAP authorization, go to www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers/application-process.htm or call 1-877-823-4369.
· The farmers’ market must be operating under an individual SNAP authorization. Farmers’ markets already operating under an umbrella authorization for multiple locations may be eligible if they apply to obtain their own individual SNAP authorization.
· Participants cannot be an individual farmer, direct marketing farmer, individual farm stand, or other individual vendor.
Due to limited funding, DHS may establish additional criteria to select the farmers’ markets to receive funding.
Submission of this application does not guarantee an award of funding. Application will help DHS determine the amount of interest in this funding and develop the additional eligibility criteria if necessary. Farmers’ markets who are selected will receive a formal agreement to be signed by the farmers’ market and DHS. DHS expects to announce the selected farmers’ markets by July 30.
For program consistency, the DHS expects selected farmers’ markets to purchase the POS device from and enter into a service agreement with FIS, the state’s EBT vendor. DHS recommends that farmers’ markets wait to enter into an agreement with FIS until after selections are announced. If you have questions about the FIS contract, please contact Shari Akin, 1-800-558-6980 ext. 5008.