Public Market Token Program for SNAP Recipients

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Connecting people with SNAP benefits to fresh, healthy, affordable food

Through the Market Token program, wooden tokens are easily used as Market currency, making it possible for customers with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) food-stamp benefits to get fresh, healthy, affordable foods from vendors at the Market. Customers stop at the white Market Token Center behind the Market Office house to swipe their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and purchase $1 and $5 tokens that function as cash and are accepted by dozens of Market vendors. Tokens are available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Tokens can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, dairy products, baked goods, honey and spices, processed foods, and even seeds and plants that produce foods.

When people have ready access to affordable, healthy foods they are more likely to make healthy food choices. As a result of the Market Token Program, 90% of participants report eating healthier.

Might you qualify for SNAP?  The income guidelines have changed! 
 SNAP eligibility brochure 2017-2018
 SNAP eligibility brochure 2017-2018 Spanish  

Market Token Program Superlatives

Just how successful is our Market Token program? For the period Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017 (the fiscal year for the federal USDA SNAP program), SNAP redemptions through the Market Token Program at the City of Rochester Public Market totaled $791,477.  This translates into some pretty impressive (unbelievable!) metrics...

  • 3.53% of the national total of all redemptions at all 7,377 farmers markets nationwide that accepted SNAP 
  • 22.2% of the state total of all redemptions at all 439 farmers markets across New York State that accepted SNAP
  • 7 times more than all of Alabama’s 369 participating farmers markets totals combined 
  • 25% of all of California’s 598 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 50% more than all of Florida’s 181 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 60% more than all of Georgia’s 282 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 2.5 times more than all of Illinois’ 167 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 6.7 times more than all of Indiana’s 117 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 4.7 times more than all of Maryland’s 140 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 3.5 times more than all of Minnesota’s 141 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 2.4 times more than all of North Carolina’s 316 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 3 times more than all of Ohio’s 224 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • The same amount as all of Oregon’s 195 participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 4.7 times more than all of South Carolina’s participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 4.3 times more than all of Texas’ participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 3.9 times more than all of Virginia’s participating farmers markets totals combined
  • 2.8 times more than all of Wisconsin’s participating farmers markets totals combined
  • About the same as the totals of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Illinois participating farmers markets combined (651 total markets)
  • More than Texas, Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana participating markets combined (674 total markets)
  • About the same Florida and Ohio participating farmers markets combined (405 total markets)

Note that this performance is despite a 35% increase in overall national SNAP redemptions at farmers markets nationwide between 2012 and 2017, and a remarkable 130% increase in the number of farmers markets that accepted SNAP between 2012 and 2017. 

Managed by the Friends of the Rochester Public Market

This nation-leading program is managed by the Friends of the Rochester Public Market, the City's essential non-profit partner--with just one part-time paid manager and a legion of dedicated volunteers.

Volunteer!

The Friends of the Market also welcomes additional volunteers to help with the Market Token Program! If interested, call Margaret O'Neill at the Friends office at 585-428-7292 or email marketfriends@rochester.rr.com.

Information and Contact

For more information on this  program, or to request materials and/or a presentation, contact the Friends office at 585-428-7292 or email marketfriends@rochester.rr.com.