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Farmers’ Markets are a great way to bring fresh, local produce into a community. To make sure this healthy fare is available to all, many markets purchase machines that allow them to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formally known as food stamps) benefits.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently contracted with the National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) to create MarketLink, a new way for farmers’ markets and direct-marketing farmers to get authorized as SNAP vendors and get the equipment they need to accept SNAP benefits.
Before MarketLink, each new SNAP vendor had to search out an equipment provider, select a wireless plan, identify a USDA-approved payment processor and understand the various rates and terms of the processor on their own; all of which was a time consuming and sometimes frustrating process. Now MarketLink is a one-stop-shop through which farmers and markets can access all this information simply and easily.