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More Farmers’ Markets Accepting EBT Cards

| January 22, 2014

Farmers Market Veggies

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Despite cost, an effort to get more Maine farmers’ markets to accept payments from low-income residents who use electronic benefit transfer cards is underway. Colleen Hanlon Smith, director of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, says the organization could conceivably expand EBT acceptance this year to about 50 of the state’s 139 markets. She says it’s a way to get locally grown, fresh, nutritious food onto the tables of people receiving federal food stamp aid. From 2009 to 2013, the number of Maine farmers’ markets that accepted EBT cards grew from two to 27. One barrier is the cost of the technology. Each market needs to buy a $500 to $1,000 wireless terminal to handle the cards. But a $4 million grant program could help offset the cost.

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