Consider participating in the following food programs:
At the La Grande Farmers’ Market we have three state food assistance programs that vendors can participate in, the Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program, the Oregon WIC Fruit and Veggie Voucher Program and SNAP, the food stamp program. Following is a description of each program and details on what you need to do as a vendor.
Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program
The Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program aims to provide assistance for sensitive populations of women, children and seniors to have access to fresh, nutritious foods sold at farmers’ markets. The program is federally funded and state operated.
Participants in the FDNP receive coupons from the state or local health department that they can use as money at the farmers’ market. The coupons are sent in $4 increments and vendors cannot give change. The Coupons may be used for fruits, vegetables (including potatoes) and herbs. The FDNP runs from June 1st through October 31st.
Oregon WIC Fruit and Veggie Voucher Program
All women and children enrolled in the WIC program will receive these vouchers on a monthly basis.
The WIC Fruit and Veggie Vouchers come in $5, $6 and $10 denominations and vendors cannot give change. WIC recipients may spend their vouchers on fresh fruits and vegetables, year-round, with authorized farmers. Herbs and potatoes are excluded from this program.
What do Farmers need to do in order to participate in these programs?
Each individual vendor must register with the state to participate in these programs. Vendors must also attend a training session. Within ten days of returning the packet farmers will receive a participation sign to notify customers that they accept FDNP and WIC Fruit and Veggie coupons and a farmer number stamp from the Department of Human Services that farmers will use to stamp each check that they receive from customers. The coupons can then be deposited at the bank the same way you would cash a personal check.
If you did not participate the previous year or did not receive a packet and would like to sign up for both FDNP and the WIC Fruit and Veggie Voucher program contact:
Oregon Department of Agriculture, 503-872-6600,http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD/farm_direct.shtml
SNAP - We accept Oregon Trail Card
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is the new name of the Oregon food stamp program. The new name represents the program’s focus on nutrition and putting healthy food within reach for low-income Oregonians. All paper food stamps have officially been phased out since 1988. The benefits are now distributed through the state’s electronics benefits transfer (EBT) system which allows recipients to obtain their benefits by using an “Oregon Trail Card”. The Oregon Trail Cards can be used for a wider range of foods as well as vegetable plant starts and seeds (no flowers or ornamentals). This includes any fresh, frozen, or canned food items such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, dried foods, and cool prepared foods (no hot foods allowed).
The La Grande Farmers Market accepts Oregon Trail Cards.
To learn more about SNAP, please visit their website: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/ebt/fm.htm
How does the program work for vendors?
Customers participating in the SNAP/Oregon Trail program can debit money from their card at the market information booth in exchange for wooden ‘tokens’ that they can used at market booths. The tokens are in $2 denominations and vendors cannot give change. Each vendor will collect their tokens at the end of market and take them to the market manager who will reimburse them for the value of the tokens.
Vendors must register with the La Grande Farmers’ Market in order to accept the tokens.