Makenzie Miller, Holston, Denise
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of low-income families. SNAP recipients use electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to purchase eligible food items from authorized retailers, such as food retail stores, farmers markets and direct-marketing farmers. In Louisiana, the EBT card is called the Louisiana Purchase Card.
At farmers markets, SNAP benefits may be accepted by individual vendors or by the market on behalf of multiple vendors. This guide is intended for vendors interested in becoming SNAP-authorized retailers.
Beyond increasing food access for individuals and families, becoming a SNAP authorized retailer can offer vendors many benefits:
Direct-marketing farmers are defined as farmer-producers that sell their own agricultural products directly to the final consumers. If you meet this definition and/or at least one of the food stocking requirements outlined below, you may be qualified to accept SNAP benefits.
To be eligible to accept SNAP benefits, a farmers market vendor must meet one of the following criteria:
You must continually sell at least three stocking units of three different staple food varieties for each of these staple food categories:
There must be one perishable staple food variety in at least two of the staple food categories.
More than 50% of your total gross retail sales (including food and nonfood merchandise) must come from the sale of eligible staple foods (vegetables or fruits; dairy products; meat, poultry or fish; bread or cereal). Staple foods do not include prepared or heated foods or accessory foods.
SNAP-authorized retailers are legally responsible for their actions and must follow all program rules and the terms of their POS device retailer agreements. Retailers should also keep accurate records of all EBT transactions for accounting and tax purposes.
To complete your application, you will need the following:
*Note: Once you begin a SNAP retailer application, you have 30 days to complete it and submit all required documents.
To be eligible for this program, you must:
Once approved, complete the Novo Dia Group/TotilPay EBT processing application to set up your EBT/SNAP payment account. If you do not qualify for the MarketLink program or do not want to take advantage of this opportunity, you may also purchase EBT processing equipment through a third-party provider.
The resources below were used to develop this guide and contain valuable information and tools for vendors interested in accepting SNAP benefits.
This webpage contains information about the SNAP application for stores and EBT, as well as resources to learn more about SNAP at farmers markets. If you have additional questions, you can call the SNAP Retailer Center at 1-877-823-4369.
This toolkit contains general information and resources related to vendor-operated SNAP systems, becoming an authorized retailer, equipment and payment, SNAP-eligible foods, and cost, accounting, and tax information.
This guide contains step-by-step instructions and resources for beginning a SNAP program at a farmers market.
This website contains information about the MarketLink program and detailed instructions on the application process. Regional representatives are also available to assist with the SNAP retailer application and MarketLink program application at: https://marketlink.org/about/contact.
Makenzie Miller, MS, Assistant Extension Agent, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Under the direction of Denise Holston, PhD, RDN, LDN, CDC HOP Project Director and Assistant Professor, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Photos by Marquetta Anderson, FCS extension agent, St. Helena Parish
Contact your local food systems coordinator: