Some local farmers markets accept food stamps

Some local farmers markets accept food stamps »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. -- KEPR learned you have other ways to pay for fresh produce at the local farmer's markets, using food stamps.

Vendors at two of the three large farmer's markets are accepting EBT cards. KEPR looked into the program and who's not signed on.

Sylvia Albertin has been selling at the Pasco Farmers market for 25 years. She grows everything she sells.

Sylvia remembers when paper food stamps were originally accepted back in the '90s. But when paper stamps turned to a plastic EBT card, the market was still cash-only. It had no way of accepting the cards for the next two decades. But that all changed a couple years ago.

"I had one lady come in earlier this year and she said, I didn't realize you guys had food stamps, she said, you know I don't have a lot of money so I didn't shop the farmers markets because it was cash she thought," said Pasco Farmers Market manager, Mike Sommerville.

Mike Sommerville is the manager here. He says last year, vendors took in over six-thousand dollars from food stamps.

"I would think that we'll probably do better than that this year because more and more people know that we can take EBT in," said Sommerville.

The shopper uses their EBT card to purchase as many wooden chips as they want. They come in one-dollar and five-dollar amounts. And then they're free to shop.

Sylvia is happy her homegrown cherries can reach more people.

"A lot of people that are low income, they still want to eat healthy," she said.

Pasco Farmers Market isn't the only one accepting food stamps. The Southridge market in Kennewick does, too. Richland does not but we can't say why. The manager never got back to us despite numerous calls and emails.

"It's been successful and there are people that need it, there are people that need to shop you know, and they can come here and shop, why not?!" said Sommerville.

Keeping it local, and fresh for all who need it.

The Pasco Farmers Market is Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Southridge market is Thursday evenings. And Richland's is on Fridays.