The USDA this week announced $4-million in funding to help equip more farmers markets with the ability to take food stamp swipe cards. Idaho’s portion of the allotment is about $45,000.
According to the USDA, only ten of the state’s 58 markets have the technology to accept food stamp cards, known as SNAP cards.
Sarah Graham is with Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force and works with farmers markets all over the state. She says adding the swipe technology expands vendors’ customer bases. So, she expects lots of interest in the funding.
“A lot of market managers have come to me and said ‘How do we get this in our market?’ because they’ve seen how successful it’s been in other places," Graham says.
Graham says the state must first apply for the funding and develop a system to divvy it up. It’s not clear yet how many markets stand to benefit from the funding.