Friday, July 20, 2018

SNAP and Farmers Markets: Crisis Averted

Photo: Amy Brown
Last week, Gossips reported that a change in a government contract would result in farmers markets, including the Hudson Farmers Market, not being able accept SNAP benefits after July 31. What happened was this. A not-for-profit called Farmers Market Coalition had been running the program that funds the equipment used at farmers markets to scan SNAP cards. Last November, the contract for this program was up for renewal, and the federal government chose a different contractor for this program, a group called Financial Transaction Management, LLC. The new contractor decided to replace the software vendor that processes SNAP benefits, Novo Dia, with its own provider, and as a consequence Novo Dia, unable to cover the costs of the software, announced it was going out of business. Its service to farmers markets would end on July 31. Without Novo Dia's technology, farmers markets could not accept SNAP benefits.

Yesterday, though, it was announced that the not-for-profit National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs would fund Novo Dia at least until the end of August. It is expected that the extension will allow time for a new system to be put in place so there will be no disruption in the ability to use SNAP benefits at farmers markets. Click here for more information.

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