Get SNAP authorized in person in early 2017!

Food insecurity is a significant issue in Colorado, with 11 percent of the population living in poverty,[1] making it a huge challenge to afford enough healthy food for their families. More than 480,000 Coloradans rely on food assistance programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) each month,[2] which helps decrease the burdens of poverty and supports positive long-term health outcomes.[3] And for the retailers, SNAP recipients may be a new client base, thereby leveraging this important government program to support local growers and our local economy.

That’s why it’s critical for Colorado’s healthy food retailers and markets to accept SNAP dollars whenever possible. To that end, LiveWell Colorado, USDA Food & Nutrition Services, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Farmers Market Association, and local partners are pleased to announce four SNAP Sign-Up Days in early 2017 to enable more direct-market farmers to accept SNAP benefit cards.

In order to accept SNAP benefits, retails must use Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) transaction machines. Fortunately—thanks to the Colorado Department of Human Services—farmers markets, farm stands, and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) can get FREE access to this important technology that allows them to provide healthy, locally-grown foods to low-income Coloradans. Markets or farmers can become SNAP-authorized by USDA staff on-the-spot and complete an order form for the EBT machine on the event days below.  Markets that have a working machine and already are SNAP-authorized do not need to re-authorize.

EVENT DETAILS:

Sessions will include an overview by USDA staff of how EBT works, information on signing up for Double Up Food Bucks, and instructions on how farmers can become authorized to accept WIC benefits now that eWIC is up and running.

To register, please complete this simple, 1-minute survey no later than MONDAY, JANUARY 16.

Dates & Locations:

  • Jan 21: Montrose. USDA staff from California will call in to authorize markets. USDA FNS regional staff from Denver will attend in person to support. Supported by Valley Food Partnership during the Western Colorado Food & Farm Forum.
  • Jan 23: Alamosa. All USDA staff to attend in person. Supported by San Luis Valley Local Food Coalition and LiveWell Colorado.
  • Jan 24: Lakewood. All USDA staff to attend in person. Hosted by JeffCo Public Health and CSU Extension.
  • Jan 25: Ft. Collins/Greeley. All USDA staff to attend in person. Supported by Colorado Farmers Market Association and the NoCo Food Cluster.

If you cannot attend one of these sessions but would still like to participate, please contact Wendy Moschetti at wendymoschetti@livewellcolorado.org and/or visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-apply for more information about how to apply.


 

[1] U.S. Census Bureau, 2015

[2] Food Action and Resource Center, 2016

[3] White House Council of Economic Advisers . Long-term Benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. December 2015.