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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grants

Deadline: June 18, 2015

Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grants (FMSSG) are intended to support the participation of farmers’ markets in SNAP by providing equipment and support grants to new markets and those currently participating in the program. The goals of the FMSSG program are to increase SNAP accessibility and participation at farmers’ markets, and support the establishment, expansion, and promotion of SNAP/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) services at farmers’ markets. Eligible grant uses include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Salaries and benefits for time spent on SNAP activities, including: (1) Operating SNAP-EBT machines at market(s); (2) Completing SNAP accounting and reporting tasks for market(s); (3) Creating/operating systems (such as scrip, accounting, record-keeping) necessary to make SNAP operational at market(s); and (4) Training and technical assistance to farmers’ market volunteers, vendors, and employees on SNAP.
  • Creating SNAP outreach and educational materials and performing outreach to current SNAP participants to inform them they may use their SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets; outreach must be conducted in accordance with the Farm Bill prohibitions on recruiting, advertising, and collaboration with foreign governments.
  • Miscellaneous equipment, other than SNAP-EBT equipment — such as scrip, wifi hotspots, accounting software, etc. – necessary for SNAP-EBT equipment to operate at farmers’ markets.

Projects that provide benefits at a regional-, State-, county- or city-wide scale will receive additional points during the evaluation process. Such projects may involve partnerships, which themselves may include sub-grants from a parent organization (such as a non-profit organization, farmers’ market association, etc.) to farmers’ markets, provided the lead entity demonstrates strong capacity to recruit, train, support, and monitor sub-grantees. Projects involving a single farmers’ market will also be eligible to receive grants.

Amount: Grants may range from $15,000-$250,000. Approximately 25 awards are expected.

Eligibility: Eligible entities include the following:

  • Farmers’ markets: Two or more farmer-producers who sell their products directly to the public at a fixed location.
  • Farmers’ market associations: An organization comprised of, or representing, one or more farmers’ markets.
  • Nonprofit entities: Any organization or institution with IRS 501(c) status or accredited institutions of higher education, where no part of the net earnings benefit any private shareholder or individual.
  • State and local government: Any unit of government, including a State, county, borough, municipality, city, town, township, parish, local public authority, special district, school district, intrastate district, council of governments, or other instrumentalities of local government.
  • Public benefit corporations: A corporation organized to construct or operate a public improvement, the profits of which benefit a State(s) or to the people thereof.
  • Economic development corporations: An organization whose mission is the improvement, maintenance, development and/or marketing or promotion of a specific geographic area.
  • Regional farmers’ market authorities: An entity that establishes and enforces regional, State, or county policies and jurisdiction over State, regional, or county farmers’ markets.
  • Tribal governments: A governing body or a governmental agency of any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community certified by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for the special programs and services provided through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Link: http://www.fns.usda.gov/ebt/learn-about-snap-benefits-farmers-markets

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