Public Market Token Program for SNAP Recipients


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

Through the Market Token Program, wooden Tokens are used as Market currency, making it possible for customers with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) "food-stamp" benefits to easily get fresh, healthy, affordable foods from participating Market vendors. SNAP recipients stop at the white Market Token Center behind the Market Office house to swipe their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and obtain $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., year-round.

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 even plants that produce food.

Download our Token Program Flyer here --one side of this flyer is designed with more pictures and fewer words to make it more accessible to folks that speak languages other than English!

40% Bonus!  New York State FreshConnect

Currently, Market Token Program participants also receive a 40% bonus through the New York State Fresh Connect Program (up to a $20 bonus per benefit recipient, per Market day).

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.  

Market Token Program Superlatives

Just how successful is our Market Token program? In 2018, the program again was the largest and most successful in the nation, having redeemed $751,169 in SNAP benefits for shopping at the Market. This total is well over $1 million when Fresh Connect coupon redemptions are factored in.  These figures add up to some superlative results for the program:   

The Public Market accounted for 23.3% of all SNAP redemptions at all 396 participating New York State markets in 2018.  And this large percentage exists still even though the number of participating markets and redemption amount increased 63% and 74% respectively statewide since 2012.

The Public Market accounted for 3.12% of all SNAP redemptions at all 7,206 participating markets nationally.  And this impressive percentage exists still even though the number of participating markets and redemption amount increased 124% and 45% respectively nationwide since 2012.

The Public Market's $751,169 in SNAP redemptions in 2018 was more that the totals of 44 different STATES, including: 

Florida (183 participating markets)
Georgia (263 participating markets)
North Carolina (305 participating markets)
Ohio (206 participating markets)
Texas (147 participating markets).  

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.


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

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


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