Q: Can I use my EBT/SNAP benefits at the market?
A: YES! Not only can you use your benefits here, you can double* them!
HOW IT WORKS
Take your Quest (EBT) card to the Market Information Booth (usually on the end nearest the intersection and parking, but sometimes things get switched around).
Tell them “I’d like to use my EBT” (or something of the sort, it’s not a secret recognition code) and they’ll be delighted to help you (no, really; we love to see the Market Match program being used).
Fill out a line on the sign-up sheet (a bit like getting Commodities at the Food Bank, but you don’t have to give your name).
Buy as many tokens as you want, and the first $10 will be doubled — pay $5, get $10; pay $10, get $20; pay $20, get $30 (see what we did there?)
Spend your tokens on anything that qualifies for purchase with food benefits, such as:
— herb plants from Blooming Artichoke Herbary
— coldbrewed coffee concentrate from Claddagh Coffee
— humanely raised beef, chicken, turkey, and pork from Dragon’s Choice Meats
— seasonal berries from Johnson Berry Farm
— microgreens, including pea and sunflower shoots from Living Greens Farm
— goat cheese and quail eggs from Lost Peacock Creamery
— cookies and bread from Nana Kathy’s Baked Goods
— kefir water and grab and go snacks from Rawk Star Creations
— all kinds of fruit from RP Guerrero Farm
— bees-first honey from Starry Lane Apiary
— organically grown vegetables from Stoney Plains Farm and Wishing Willow Farm
Just to prove it’s real, yes, there is a catch: you can’t get change for EBT tokens like you can with regular Market tokens. There are a few ways to deal with this little detail. You can pay the last dollar in cash — for instance, for a $3.50 purchase, use three tokens and a dollar, getting 50 cents back. You can ask for a little extra to make up the difference and see what the vendor has to offer — a few extra berries, a little bulb of garlic, that pile of beautiful beet greens in the discard bin. Or you can just remember what a great deal you’re getting in the first place and not worry about it.
The best part is that you can get the Market Match every week, as long as the grant from our friends at Kaiser Permanente lasts. Early in the year you may not always find $20 worth of goodies to buy, but hoarding is allowed here: you don’t have to spend the tokens the same week you buy them, you can save them up until the strawberries arrive.
*up to $10 per week, while funding lasts.