New EBT program increases food accessibility

As our local food movement grows and develops, the Athens Farmers Market takes on an even greater responsibility to increase the accessibility of local, fresh foods. We believe our low-income patrons deserve the chance to buy our products and to participate in the AFM community. Purchasing fresh, local food should be a viable option for every individual and family.

This May - supported by a new statewide initiative - AFM will accept the use of EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards. Thousands of Georgia’s families rely on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and the program’s EBT card for their household food purchases.  Our new program will accept EBT cards at our Saturday and Tuesday markets.  This is a fantastic opportunity to expand our local food culture and share the benefits of sustainable agriculture with new people.

How does the EBT program work?  Every market day, costumers can swipe their EBT cards to purchase $1 tokens - AFM tokens have been designed by local artist Chris Purcell.  Tokens are directly exchanged for produce between the customer and farmer.  Farmers are then paid in-full at the end of the market day.  The token-system allows for a simple and interactive way to open and grow access to the fresh, local and healthy produce from the market.

Accepting EBT has been a long-term AFM goal, and it is an important step forward toward broadening and diversifying the AFM customer base. We believe accommodating for our SNAP patrons is a significant contribution to building a local and sustainable community. 

We appreciate your support and are excited to get to know this season’s new customers. See you soon!

AFM