SNAP equipment and Illinois farmers
Farmers markets have become a large and growing supplier of healthy food to those using SNAP benefits. Now a large percentage of those using SNAP benefits at farmers markets is about to lose that ability.
Since 2012, the USDA has run a Free SNAP Wireless Equipment Program to provide mobile devices to farmers markets, and 2,500+ markets participate. But the new administrator of the program has chosen to work with a different set of companies, which may eliminate or greatly delay the ability of markets to obtain free equipment, essentially making SNAP participation prohibitive.
The Novo Dia Group, an Texas firm that processes about 40% SNAP transactions at farmers markets nationwide, plans to end its service this month, leaving about 1,700 of the more than 7,000 markets that offer SNAP with no way to serve low-income customers.
The shutdown comes at the height of the growing season for Midwestern farmers.
Some food stamp recipients may soon lose access to farmers market benefits -Washington Post