Why shop at a farmers market?
- Fresh, healthy produce tastes better.
- Fresh produce is healthier - it hasn't lost nutritional value during transport.
- Fresh produce lasts much longer than store bought produce.
- You'll gain access to a wider choice of products.
- You'll save money with no middleman: SNAP participants can also get double with Virginia Fresh Match (VFM).
- You'll support your local farmers and local economy.
- Farmers markets often offer a variety of family- and community-oriented activities.
Double your money with Virginia Fresh Match.
Look for farmers markets that offer "Virginia Fresh Match", which provides a "match" to the amount of SNAP benefits a participant spends at the market.
- Participating Virginia Fresh Match markets
- Find nearly 100 participating farmers, mobile markets and neighborhood grocery stores throughout VA.
- Use SNAP at these participating farmers, mobile markets and neighborhood grocery stores to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and plants.
- Add convenience to your life, as much of the fresh fruits and vegetables sold at farmers markets can be eaten raw, with no cooking needed.
- You'll discover that while many farmers markets are seasonal, but some are open year-round.
Using SNAP at farmers markets is easy:
- Bring your EBT card to the market office or information table - market staff are there to help.
- Choose the amount to charge to your card, then swipe and enter your PIN, just like at the grocery store.
- You'll receive tokens or vouchers worth DOUBLE the value charged to your EBT card. For example, swipe your EBT card for $10, get $20 worth of tokens.
- Then, spend your tokens like cash with market vendors on eligible products.
- Vendors can't give change for tokens, so work with vendors to make whole-dollar-amount purchases.
- If you don't spend all your tokens, hang on to them and spend them the next time you visit the farmers market.
- For more information about SNAP click here.
Other Resources About Farmers Markets
VA Family Nutrition Program (SNAP Ed):
- Farmers market recipe collection
- Recipe of the month and activity
- For more information about SNAP Ed, call the Virginia Family Nutrition Information and Referral Line, toll free, at 888-814-7627.
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)
Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) - WIC FM and Senior Farmers Market Program (S/FMP)
Virginia Black Farmer Directory
Resources for farmers markets and direct marketing farmers:
To become eligible to accept SNAP:
- Whether you are a farmers market or direct marketing farmer, you will need to apply for authorization to accept SNAP
- Once you receive approval you, will receive your Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) number
To receive a free wireless point of sale (POS) device, complete this form or email the information requested on the form to email@example.com after approved to accept SNAP.
VA Farmers Market Association - association of farmers markets across VA that provides resources for member and non-member markets. Notable is their Market Manager Certification training which provides training on all aspects of farmers markets including accepting SNAP at the market.
Local Food Hub - an organization that advances equitable access to fresh food, independent farms, and fairness in farming.