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Lincoln County farmer's markets will soon accept SNAP & debit cards


MERRILL, Wis. (WSAU) -- It will soon be possible for low-income families to use their SNAP card at more farmer’s markets.

Lincoln County is the latest to take advantage of the opportunity. Director and Health Officer Shelley Hersil says this will help low income families that are part of the FoodShare program have better access to healthier, locally grown food.

She says it started with a grant.  “We were fortunate to get a grant from the Centers for Disease Control, and the purpose was to have more healthy access to foods in our county, and we chose to work on our farmer’s markets.”

The grant Lincoln County received will help buy the machines to process EBT and debit cards at the three farmer’s markets beginning soon.  “It’s a start-up grant that we received for just Lincoln County. Right now, it’s currently not offered that you can use your EBT Quest cards at farmer’s markets, and starting in June, you’ll be able to do that at all three of our Lincoln County farmer’s markets.”

Hersil says anyone with a debit card or an EBT card can shop at the farmer’s markets using this system, regardless of where you live.  “Pretty much all they need to have is their card with them. They will go to the market and they will see signage saying, ‘come here’ if you have your EBT card or even your debit card. They will exchange what’s on the EBT card for tokens. You can then use the tokens at any of the vendors that are at the market, and it really is an easy process.”

The equipment is to arrive soon, but may not be ready by June 1st. Hersil says people need to check with the markets to make sure they are ready to process the cards.