PRESS RELEASE: Expanded Access to Fresh Produce for Low-Income Individuals and Families

Posted on Mar 9, 2015 in NEWS

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made funds available that enable the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide eligible farmers markets and direct marketing farmers with free electronic benefit transfer (EBT) equipment to process Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Administered through the Farmer’s Market Coalition (FMC), the Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program expands access to fresh produce for SNAP beneficiaries and expands commerce options for farmers and farmers markets.

The program is available to only to SNAP-authorized farmers markets and direct marketing farmers that were authorized before November 18, 2011. If the applying farmers and famers markets receive approval, the FMC will cover the costs of purchasing or renting SNAP EBT equipment and services (set-up costs, monthly service fees, and wireless fees) for up to three years. Though transaction fees will not be covered, the selected farmers and farmers markets will get to choose their own SNAP EBT service provider from a list of participating companies.

The Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program is a first-come first-serve opportunity, and the program ends when the funds have been distributed.

If a farmers market or direct marketing farmer isn’t yet SNAP-authorized, or became SNAP-authorized on or after November 18, 2011, then they may be eligible for free equipment through MarketLink. Learn more about MarketLink’s application process at

For more information on the Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program, including frequently asked questions, an eligibility chart, background information and application instructions, visit

Click here for a county-by-county listing of Farmers Markets.

Media Contacts:

Brenda Mutuma
Program Specialist, Western Region SNAP
[email protected]

Andrew Riesenberg, MSPH
Food Security and Obesity Prevention Team Leader
Food and Nutrition Service, Western Regional Office
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
415-645-1927; [email protected]

Kayla Rosenfeld
Communications and Public Information Officer
Department of Human Services
586-4892; [email protected]