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How it Works: At the Market

Market Managers are responsible for promoting and implementing Maryland Market Money at the market throughout the season. All Maryland Market Money tokens and SNAP/EBT tokens are distributed at a central market table managed by market staff.  The “match” is limited to $5 per customer per market day for SNAP benefits at all markets except in Prince Georges County, where the match is $10 per customer per market.

  • SNAP/EBT:
    Customers using SNAP/EBT at the market visit the market table to swipe their SNAP/EBT card for the requested amount, which is then returned to the customer in the form of the market’s SNAP/EBT currency (i.e. $1 tokens). Customers are eligible a dollar-for-dollar match in Maryland Market Money currency, up to $5 per household per market day. Maryland Market Money can be spent on any SNAP-eligible food items.
  • FARMERS MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM (FMNP) & eWIC:
    Customers must spend their FMNP coupons or eWIC with eligible vendors selling at market. After making their purchase, the vendor will give the customers a paper receipt indicating which type of benefit they used and the amount spent. Customers turn this receipt in at the market table in exchange for an additional $5 in Maryland Market Money currency that can be spent on any SNAP-eligible food items.

At the end of each market day, managers must track the amount of Maryland Market Money spent with each vendors, and reimburse accordingly

Data Collection and Reporting

All managers participating in Maryland Market Money are required to collect data on federal nutrition benefits spent at market, participant numbers (both vendors and customers), MMM distributed, and MMM redeemed at each market throughout the season. A complete listing of required data can be viewed here.  Managers must report data to MDFMA on a biweekly basis; MDFMA provides market managers with monthly feedback on data trends and analysis. MDFMA also provides managers with several templates for data collection at market and works with managers to develop a data collection and reporting system that complements each market’s unique operational structure.

Funding

MDFMA continually fundraises for Maryland Market Money throughout the year and works with participating markets to develop sustainable market-based fundraising strategies to support MMM at each site. Prior to the season, MDFMA works with participating markets to determine each market’s MMM needs for the year, and available funds are then allocated accordingly.

How to Participate

At the beginning of each calendar year, MDFMA accepts applications from market managers interested in bringing (or continuing!) Maryland Market Money at their market. If you are interested in applying for the upcoming season, please contact Heather ([email protected]) for an application. 

Eligibility

Any market interested in participating in Maryland Market Money must meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least TWO vendors who are farmer-producers selling their own agricultural products (fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy, grains, eggs) either raw or processed;
  • Be scheduled to occur at a regular time and location a minimum of EIGHT times in one calendar year;
  • Accept all forms of federal and state nutrition benefits that can be spent at farmers markets;
  • Provide Maryland Market Money match for all forms of federal and state nutrition benefits that can be spent at farmers markets;
  • Demonstrate ability to comply with program requirements, especially regarding data collection and reporting;
  • Complete and submit March application by March 1; and
  • Finalize market logistics by March 31, including: established location, day/time, opening/closing days, and committed list of vendors.

If you have questions regarding your market’s eligibility to participate in MMM or the application, please contact Heather ([email protected]).

In 2018, 13,137 Marylanders spent

$263,296

in federal nutrition benefits & Maryland Market Money matching dollars at 21 farmers markets