How to get certified to accept SNAP Benefits at a farmers’ market or Fresh Stop in Kentucky and get a Free Wireless Machine
By CFA Member, Karyn Moskowitz, New Roots Fresh Stop Project in collaboration with CFA staff
In the summer of 2012, the state of Kentucky was awarded $96,000 from the USDA based on need to provide FREE EBT machines to Farmers markets across the state that have have not previously received an EBT machine. CFA leader, Karyn Moskowitz has spent the last six months researching the process of obtaining a machine and has developed Step by Step instructions. These funds boost producers’ income by also allowing consumers to have more buying power. Providing EBT access at Kentucky farmers markets proves that Local Food is For Everyone!
1). Go to http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/ebt/fm.htm. Fill out this form. Make sure you understand the form is a bit unpredictable: sometimes they refer to a farmers’ market as a retail store. Don’t be alarmed, just keep going. Fresh Stops are certified as farmers’ markets.
2). Make sure you have an EIN/TIN. You must be incorporated as a nonprofit, LLC or use someone else’s corporate identify (i.e., be under their umbrella). This is because the Federal Government will issue a 1099 to the corporation as receiving income from the sale of this produce, and if you use your own SS#, you will get this 1099 issued in your name. You do not have to yet be tax-exempt as a nonprofit organization to do this. This can come later. If you need help with incorporation contact:
Alexa Arnold-CFA at Alexa@cfaky.org
KCARD (Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development) at (270)-763-8258
Karyn Moskowitz from New Roots at 502-509-6770
3). Instead of a business license, when they ask, send via snail mail the FNS/USDA your or your umbrella group’s articles of incorporation and/or IRS tax-exempt status letter.
5). You will receive your EBT certification in the mail.
6). Then, call JP Morgan representative Shannon at 949-650-4598. Tell her you are newly certified to accept SNAP benefits as a farmers’ market, and would like to use the grant from the USDA for your free wireless machine. The $96,000 from the USDA is being administered directly by JP Morgan.
7). You have a choice: A free wireless terminal, or an iPhone 4. Both come with free data plans for one year. The iPhone uses this new app from Novo Dio Group out of Austin, Texas. This new app was just created and New Roots Fresh Stop will be the 2nd farmers’ market in the US to utilize it. Find out more here:http://www.novodiagroup.com/novo-dia-group-partners-with-worldpay-to-offer-complete-payment-solution-to-farmers-market-community/.
(Details about iPhone: After the first year, you are going to be responsible for buying your own data plan for either the terminal or the iPhone. The terminal is $15/month, and the iPhone 4 is TBA. I have checked with TMobile and Verizon on a data only plan for the iPhone, and this is not yet offered. TMobile does have a $50 data plus limited voice plan. So, to go with the iPhone is going to cost at least $35/month more than the terminal. However, a lot can change in one year and if we lobby the big carriers for data only plans over the next year we may win. You will have to give JP Morgan a cancelled check, so you must have a bank account)
8). Your iPhone or terminal should arrive within 2-3 weeks of talking to Shannon.
9). Make Tokens. When customers show up at the Market, swipe their card, issue tokens, tell customers to give tokens to farmers. You may then reimburse the farmers at the end of the day. The money from the federal government for SNAP Benefits is deposited directly into your bank account, almost immediately after swiping card.