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Montana SNAP at Farmers Markets

SNAP at Farmers Markets

In 2008 the federal Food Stamp Program was renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The name change more accurately reflects the mission of providing supplemental food and nutrition assistance to people with low incomes.


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Farmers markets help increase public access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

NAPA assists Montana farmers markets in becoming authorized to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Accepting nutrition assistance benefit programs at farmers markets help low-income families overcome the barriers of cost and availability of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Why should Farmers Markets accept SNAP cards?

Accepting SNAP benefits at local Farmers Markets can be a win-win situation. Using a wireless SNAP swipe machine at your farmers market provides easy access to locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables to people with low incomes, while providing additional revenue for the market vendors. Montanans were issued more than 195 million dollars in SNAP benefits in 2012. Accepting SNAP cards allows SNAP clients to use their benefits at farmers markets to purchase nutritious local foods and support local farmers.

Since all SNAP benefit purchases are now made with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card similar to a credit or debit card, most farmers markets purchase a machine that can also accept debit and credit which reduces stigma for SNAP consumers and increases overall sales at the market sales.

How to Accept SNAP Cards at your Market

Assistance for Farmers Markets that accept SNAP

Starting in 2015, farmers markets can get assistance for purchasing equipment and supplies to start a Farmers Market SNAP program. Look for mini-grants to initiative incentive programs such as Double Bucks coupons at farmers markets in 2016.

Contact Tammy Howard, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Agriculture Specialist at (406) 494-4572 or tammyh@ncat.org.

For equipment only grants for markets and farmers see the National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs Market Link Program.

How to use your SNAP card at Farmers Markets

Look for the market closest to you. Most markets are on weekends, but a few are on the weekdays after work.

Once you are at the market look for the farmers market information booth. This is where you will swipe your SNAP card. The person that swipes your card will give you tokens to spend on food items throughout the market. Keep in mind, just like with your card you cannot receive change for the tokens. Just like at the super market. Also, you cannot buy non-food items or prepared food at the market with your SNAP card. The vendors are aware of this so look for vendor signs that say they accept EBT tokens.

Montana's Farmers Markets that accept SNAP

Montana Farmers Markets that accept SNAP cards

ANACONDA COMMUNITY MARKET

  • Where: Kennedy Commons, 3rd and Main
  • When: Tuesdays, 4- 7 pm July 12- September 13
  • Vendors: 15

BIGFORK FARMERS MARKET COOP

  • Where: Masonic Temple Parking Lot, 8098 Hwy 35
  • When: Saturdays, 10 am-1pm June 4-October 15/ Wednesdays, 3-6 pm May 18-October 12
  • Vendors: 12-25

BILLINGS HEALTHY BY DESIGN GARDENERS MARKET

  • Where: South Park, South 28th St. & 6th Ave. South
  • When: Thursdays, 4:30-6:30pm June 9-October 6
  • Vendors: 14

BOZEMAN WINTER FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: Emerson Center Ballroom, 111 S. Grand
  • When: Saturdays, 9am-12pm September 24, 2016-April 30, 2017
  • Vendors: 30

BUTTE FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: West Park St., in Uptown Butte
  • When: Saturdays, 8:30a-1pm May 21-October
  • Vendors: 70

COLUMBIA FALLS COMMUNITY MARKET

  • Where: 830 1st Avenue West
  • When: Thursdays,5-8pm May 19-September 22
  • Vendors: 60

COLUMBIA FALLS FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: 2400 9th St West
  • When: Thursdays, 5-8pm May 12-September 15
  • Vendors: 20

EAST HELENA FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: East Helena City Hall parking lot
  • When: Tuesdays, 4-7pm July 19-September 13

GALLATIN VALLEY FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: Gallatin County Fairgrounds; 901 N. Black
  • When: Saturdays, 9am-12pm June 21-September 13
  • Vendors: 200

GLENDIVE SATURDAY FARMERS MARKET

Where: 313 S. Merrill
When: Saturdays, 9am-12pm June 6-October 18

GREAT FALLS FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: Civic Center Park - 2 Park Drive
  • When: Saturdays, 7:45am-12pm June 4-September 24
    Wednesdays, 4:30-6:30pm July 6-September21
  • Vendors: 150 on Saturdays, 20 on Wednesdays

HAMILTON FARMERS MARKET CO-OP

  • Where: 3rd St. & Bedford St.
  • When: Saturdays, 9am-12:30pm May 7to mid-to-late October
  • Vendors: 85

HELENA FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: Fuller Ave, Downtown
  • When: Saturdays, 9am-1pm April 30-October 29
  • Where: Gateway Center, 1710 National Ave.
  • When: Saturdays, 9am-1pm November 8-December 20
  • Vendors: 90

MANHATTAN FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: Town Park, Corner of W. Main & Broadway
  • When: Wednesdays, 4-7pm June 22-September 7
  • Vendors: 16
  • Accepts: SFMNP, SNAP

MISSOULA CLARK FORK MARKET

  • Where: Downtown under the Higgins Bridge in the Riverside parking lot
  • When: Saturdays, 8am-1pm May 7-October 29 / October hours are from 9am-1pm
  • Vendors: 90

MISSOULA FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: Circle Square in Downtown Missoula
  • When: Saturdays, 8am-12:30pm May 7-October 29/ Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30pm July 5-September 27
  • Vendors: 150

MISSOULA WINTER PUBLIC MARKET

  • Where: 800 South 3rd Street West
  • When: Saturdays, 9am-1pm November 12, 2016-April 22, 2017
  • Vendors: 25

POLSON FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: 3rd Ave. W., between Main St. and 1st St. W.
  • When: Fridays, 9am-1pm May 6-October 14
  • Vendors: 50

RED LODGE FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: Lions Park, between E. 7th and E. 8th on N. Villard
  • When: Fridays, 3:30-6:30pm June 24-September 30
  • Vendors: 17

RONAN FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: 106 Main Street SW
  • When: Thursdays, 3-7pm May 5-September 12
  • Vendors: 8

TOWNSEND FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: Front St., N of the Copy Cup
  • When: Thursdays, 3-6:30pm June 15-September 29
  • Vendors: 5

TROY FARMERS MARKET

  • Where: Troy Museum on Hwy 2
  • When: Saturdays, 3:30-6:30pm June 3-September 30
  • Vendors: 10

WHITEFISH DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET

Farmers Market

  • Where: North Block of Central Ave - Depot Park
  • When: Tuesdays, 5-7:30pm May 31-September 27

2016 Farmers Market Map that accept SNAP or you can visit the Montana Department of Agriculture's website for more information.