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Accepting SNAP at your farmers markets or farm can bring new customers. With the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), SNAP clients receive funds back on their EBT card when they purchase fruits and vegetables from participating farms.
Step 1: Complete the USDA application to become an authorized SNAP retailer. This may be completed on line at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-apply. Additional documentation will be needed including a picture I.D. and your Social Security Card (or another official document with your name and Social Security Number for all principal business owners, e.g. top page of past year’s tax return (You can black out your financial data).
a. On the application, follow instructions as if you are a “Store”, not a Farmers Market until you are given the option to select “Direct Marketing Farmer”.
b. Answer subsequent questions as though your farm is a “store”—fill in times your farm stand is open, days/times you sell at farmers markets, or have CSA pick-ups.
c. Complete the application to the best of your ability, and note any sections you have questions but leave blank. An FNS staff person will contact you to resolve any questions.
STEP 2: Scan and email all additional requested documentation directly to Debbie Crosby at FNS, Debbie.Crosby@fns.usda.gov to expedite your application. If you prefer to mail (much slower process), USDA Food & Nutrition Service, Suite FO-16, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302.
The Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) matches SNAP purchases of fruits and vegetables when shopping at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share programs. Using SNAP benefits at one of the participating HIP retailers lets clients earn additional dollars in SNAP benefits for each dollar spent on HIP eligible fruits and vegetables, up to a monthly cap. The monthly cap depends upon household size. Households of 1-2 can earn up to $40 per month, 3-5 members $60, and households with 6 or more members can earn up to $80.