Beaumont Farmers Market Begins Accepting Funds from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Food Vendors

On Saturday, the Beaumont Farmer’s Market will officially begin accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards.

The Beaumont Farmers’ Market began accepting SNAP cards for food vendors as part of a trail run at its last two markets.

Beaumont Farmers Market Manager Rebekah Maxwell said the Farmers Market had been open for 10 years and had spent the last two working to be able to accept SNAP.

“We applied to the United States Department of Agriculture last year, which was approved, and then we got a grant for smart card processing equipment,” Maxwell said. “We picked up the subsidies in the summer of last year, and then, because of all the supply chain issues, it took us several months to get this equipment.”

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Now that it has the equipment to process SNAP cards, Maxwell said the Beaumont Farmers’ Market operates as an intermediary between vendors and customers.

“A customer can walk in and use their SNAP card at our information table and get coupons to use at our vendors,” Maxwell said. “We have approved vendors in the market. It has to be limited to the foods you eat and therefore to things like fresh produce, eggs, baked goods, beef, chicken, pork – all that good stuff .”

Maxwell said this helps customers ensure they are getting healthy food grown and made locally, as all vendors are located within 150 miles of Beaumont.

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“This will help the community by allowing people who use stamps to buy locally grown produce and locally made items (since there is) the opportunity to have better access to organic foods, grass, beef raised, locally raised chicken and pork,” Maxwell said. . “There is research and an argument that locally grown foods are better for the environment, better for individuals and families because of their nutritional value.”

Additionally, the market has hired an employee to help with SNAP and is fluent in English and Spanish.

“Anyone who uses SNAP can come and use it in the market,” Maxwell said. “But if anyone might be hesitant or not really sure, we also have a bilingual employee now who is going to help us translate some things.”

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James V. Payne