about SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. SNAP provides a monthly benefit to individuals and families through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to supplement the purchase of nutritious foods. Eligibility for SNAP benefits is based on financial and non-financial criteria.

Image of SNAP Incentives at the farmers market

How to use SNAP at a LEAP Farmers Market

Customers who receive SNAP should visit the market operator’s table. The market operator can swipe EBT cards through a mobile credit card machine. Customers will receive black wooden tokens equal to the amount deducted from their SNAP-EBT cards. Each token equals $1. Customers then use their tokens like cash to purchase goods from farmers market vendors. All vendors take tokens, but no change is given. Black tokens can be used to purchase any SNAP-approved item, including meat, cheese, eggs, bread products, and some prepared foods, as well as fruits and vegetables.

How does SNAP match work at farmers markets?

Through Virginia Fresh Match, SNAP recipients receive $1 in free fruits and vegetables for every $1 deducted from their SNAP-EBT card. If a customer has $10 swiped from their card, they will receive $10 in black tokens (good for any SNAP-eligible item), and $10 in red tokens (good for produce and plants only), for a total of $20. These tokens don’t expire so customers can bring unspent tokens to any LEAP market at any time. There is a $50 limit per market visit on SNAP match. (Customers can spend as much as they like, but only $50 will be matched at market.) On occasion, there will be special days set aside where SNAP match is doubled. On those days only, $50 of SNAP-EBT (black tokens) is matched to $100 that can be spent on produce (red tokens), for a total of $150 in tokens.

How does SNAP and SNAP match work at the LEAP Mobile Market?

The same $1 in free fruits and vegetables for each $1 swiped from a SNAP-EBT card applies. But on the mobile market, the operator swipes customers’ SNAP-EBT cards at the register and gives shoppers a 50 percent discount. Customers’ orders should be at least half fruits and vegetables in value to get a full 50 percent discount. The market operator can help make sure customers receive a full discount. To see the LEAP Mobile Market schedule, head to the Mobile Market section under Find Food.

How else can SNAP benefits be used at LEAP markets?

Individuals and families who receive SNAP can also use their SNAP-EBT to pay for half-price LEAP Farm Shares. Ask the on-site market operator or email with questions.
SNAP will also be accepted and doubled at LEAP's retail store when it opens in 2024.
Looking for recipes, meal planning advice, and exercise tips (in English and Spanish)? Check out the Eat Smart, Move More website.

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