How do I use SNAP / EBT or my credit card?Just come to the info table at one of the markets below. Swipe your card and you'll receive Fresh Bucks coins to use with market vendors. Fresh Bucks are currency for fresh food from local farms and producers at RI farmers markets.
Where?In 2012, twenty Rhode Island farmers markets (up from nineteen in 2011, eighteen in 2010, twelve in 2009 and eight in 2008) have central booths that can accept EBT and credit/debit cards:
Providence & Metro
- Woonsocket B$
East Bay / Aquidneck
Use SNAP / EBT for a CSA Subscription
SNAP can be used for a seasonal subscription to veggies and fruits, with weekly payments and pick ups in these locations. Choose a pickup day for CSA details:
- Mondays – Providence's Westside (Scratch Farm)
- Thursdays – Providence's Westside (Armory Market Share)
- Various days – Johnston, North Attleboro, Providence, Richmond (Freedom Food Farm)
- Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays – Middletown, Providence's Eastside (Simmons Farm)
$5 coins vs $1 coins... What's the difference?
|$1 Fresh Buck gold coins||$5 Fresh Buck gold coins||$1 Bonus Bucks silver coins|
|Use at any farm or producer booth for||
For Market Managers and Farmers
Get Fresh Bucks for Your Market
Fresh Bucks are metal coins in denominations of $1 and $5, first created for the 2007 growing season. Fresh Bucks are an easy way to allow Credit Card users and Food Stamp / SNAP / EBT users to participate at your RI farmers' market.
Farmers' market managers or farmstands can contact Sarah to acquire Fresh Bucks coins for use at their Rhode Island market. We encourage markets to keep Fresh Bucks in circulation through the season, and have materials to help explain Fresh Bucks to market-goers.
To help you model your use of Fresh Bucks, here's how it works at Farm Fresh RI markets. Fresh Bucks are provided as a service to encourage patronage of the local farmers' market. Farm Fresh RI runs a booth at the market that serves as a single "point of sale" with a wireless card processing machine. Customers swipe a Credit Card for $5 coins or an EBT card for $1 coins to spend at any food vendor. Food vendors can then redeem Fresh Bucks at the Farm Fresh booth and we write a check by the end of the market.
There are currently no redemption fees for farms or other participating vendors. Customers with credit cards are charged $1 for each transaction to cover the 2-3% processing fees we pay and our wireless service. While we may lose some money on larger credit card transactions, it is balanced by the smaller transactions, the convenience for customers and the increased revenue potential for local farms at the market. There are no fees for customers with Food Stamps / SNAP / EBT cards.
Since $1 Fresh Bucks coins function as a scrip system that allows EBT users to participate in the market, the same restrictions that apply to EBT also apply to Fresh Bucks. (That is actually less of a limitation than you may think. EBT covers a much wider range of foods than WIC.) $1 coins can pay for any food item that is not served hot or for immediate consumption. $1 coins can also pay for food-growing plant starts. A cup of coffee, flowers, soap or a sandwich at the market is unfortunately off limits. Baked goods should be wrapped in a bag for consumption after the market. The USDA provides a full list of SNAP eligible items.
Consistent with EBT rules, there is no change given for $1 coins. It's not very hard for customers to spend the full $1 and serves as a commitment to supporting local food producers.
We make sure all of our vendors know these details. We display EBT, Visa and Mastercard signage (see diagram at left) at our booth explaining Fresh Bucks to customers. We also provide point of sale signage for farmers and other vendors at the market saying "Fresh Bucks accepted". At the Farm Fresh booth we provide gift tags and a special baggie for customers purchasing Fresh Bucks as a gift. We also coordinate with the SNAP Outreach Program for web, print and on-the-street outreach.
Redeem Fresh Bucks
Farm Fresh RI will redeem Fresh Bucks from farmers and market managers for US dollars. Contact Sarah for more info.