Federal nutrition benefit programs are funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and have shared goals of improving nutrition and health. Some also promote local food and agriculture, and the Maryland Farmers Market Association (MDFMA) works to ensure that all benefits are best utilized through Maryland’s farmers markets.
Below, is a breakdown of three benefits programs that can be used at participating markets as well an outline of Maryland Market Money, our cornerstone food access program. Find a participating market here or download our 2019 Maryland Market Money Brochure in English or Spanish.
SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and was formerly called Food Stamps. In Maryland SNAP is also called the Food Supplement Program or FSP.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, known in Maryland as the Food Supplement Program or FSP, formerly food stamps) provides valuable help to Marylanders each month. Households qualify for SNAP benefits based on eligibility guidelines including household size, gross monthly income, and basic household expenses. SNAP recipients receive their monthly benefits on a debit-style EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card, known in Maryland as an Independence Card.
Examples of SNAP-eligible items include cold or room temperature food items (fruits, veggies, meat, milk, eggs, etc.) and seeds or plants that produce food.
Examples of ineligible items include hot food, vitamins or medicine, paper products, and alcohol.Learn More About Qualifying For SNAP Learn More About SNAP Eligible Foods
Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (eWIC)
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (eWIC) is available to eligible women who are pregnant, nursing, or up to 6 months post-postpartum; infants; and children up to the age of 5 (or their guardians) who meet eligibility guidelines based on household size and gross monthly income. Although WIC packages vary, WIC benefits are used to purchase items such as juice, milk, cereal, peanut butter, fruits, and vegetables. WIC benefits are distributed in the form of $8, $11, or $17 benefits loaded onto an eWIC card. At many farmers markets in Maryland, WIC Fruit and Vegetable Benefits (WIC-FVB) can be spent on fresh fruits and vegetables with participating farmer vendors.Learn More About WIC
Farmers Market Nutrition Program
The Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC-FMNP) is a program available to eligible WIC recipients. The WIC FMNP program provides fresh, nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants, and expands awareness of and sales at farmers markets. Participants receive $20 in $5 checks, which are distributed between June and August to participants through local clinics.
The Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is available to Seniors over the age of 65 who meet income eligibility guidelines. SFMNP provides fresh, nutritious, locally grown fruits, vegetables, cut herbs, and honey from farmers markets and roadside stands to low-income seniors. This benefit increases the consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding, developing, and aiding in the development and expansion of domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs. Income-eligible senior citizens receive $30 worth of $5 FMNP checks, which are distributed between June and August to participants through local senior centers.
Farmers: How Do I Accept FMNP? Shoppers: Do I Qualify for WIC FMNP? Shoppers: Do I Qualify for Senior FMNP?
"Matching" Federal Nutrition Programs at Markets
Maryland Market Money
A cornerstone initiative of the MDFMA, Maryland Market Money offers matching dollars to customers who spend their benefits at participating markets. Maryland Market Money stretches the tight budgets of benefit recipients, encourages healthy local eating, and expands the customer base at farmers markets. A win-win-win!
Maryland Market Money is not a government program and is solely funded through the fundraising efforts of MDFMA. If you would like to support this valuable program, please consider donating. All donations, no matter how small, are greatly appreciated and are tax-deductible.
Support Maryland Market Money Learn More About Maryland Market Money