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 foods.

Might you qualify for SNAP?  The income guidelines have changed! 
SNAP eligibility brochure 2018-2019 

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? For the period Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017 (the last fiscal year for which federal USDA SNAP program data is available), SNAP redemptions through the Market Token Program at the City of Rochester Public Market exceeded $1 million.  This translates into some pretty impressive (unbelievable!) metrics...

  • 3.5% of the national total of all redemptions at all 7,377 farmers markets nationwide that accepted SNAP  
  • 28% of the state total of all redemptions at all 439 farmers markets across New York State that accepted SNAP 

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.


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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