Food Access

YOU CAN USE FEDERAL FOOD ASSISTANCE BENEFITS AT OUR FARMERS’ MARKETS

We want everyone in our communities to be able to afford fresh, healthy, locally grown food. We offer a variety of programs that help low-income people buy healthy foods in our markets. The farmers and  producers at our farmers’ markets accept all forms of federal nutrition assistance benefits, including  SNAP (Food Stamps/EBT), WIC,  WIC Cash Value, Senior Grocery Plus (formerly Commodity Supplemental Food Program), and Produce Plus vouchers. We also offer Bonus Bucks, which stretch the buying power of your nutrition benefits for fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and eggs.  Together these programs make the market welcoming to all our neighbors.

To learn how to start receiving food assistance benefits, contact DC Hunger Solutions.

Food Stamps/EBT/SNAP

More than 140,000 District residents benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps) each month. With SNAP, shoppers can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, cheese, eggs, at grocery stores, corner stores, and even farmers’ markets. Many farmers’ markets in the District – including 14&U and Bloomingdale Farmers’ Markets – accept SNAP EBT (electronic benefit transfer) cards. Does your grocery store offer bonus bucks when you use your food stamps? Our farmers’ markets do. Learn more here.

How it works:

  1. Go to the Market Information Tent.
  2. Tell the staff how much money you would like to spend.
  3. Market staff will swipe your EBT card for the amount you request.
  4. Receive the requested amount in $1 tokens to spend on food at our farmers’ markets.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You may not use SNAP/EBT tokens to buy flowers, hot prepared foods or other non-food items.
  • No change can be given when SNAP/EBT tokens are used.
  • Unused tokens can be used another day at BFM or 14&U.

To see if you qualify for SNAP/Food Stamps, contact the District of Columbia Department of Human Services at 202-698-3900 or download the Application for Benefits.

WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition (WIC “Get Fresh” and WIC Fruit and Vegetable Cash-Value Checks)

The Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children is for children up to age 5 and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.  Each eligible family member gets $30 in “Get Fresh” Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program checks to be used at farmers’ markets throughout the District. The purple WIC Cash-Value Checks for fruits and vegetables (these come in denominations of $8, $11, and $16.50)  can also be used at farmers’ markets. For more information on WIC, please consult DC’s Dept of Health website. To apply for WIC benefits, click here.

How it works:

For WIC benefits, visit the orange Market Information tent to inquire about which farmers accept these benefits. When you make a purchase using WIC benefits, the farmer will give you a receipt. Bring the receipt to the orange information tent and we’ll exchange it for Matching Dollars tokens.

  1. Bring WIC vouchers to the market (check expiration dates!)
  2. Use the voucher to pay farmers directly for fruits and vegetables.

Senior Grocery Plus

District residents age 60 and over can be eligible for the Senior Grocery Plus benefits if they are enrolled in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which provides food packages to seniors. The Senior Grocery Plus program provides $30 (in the form of six $5 checks) “Get Fresh” checks that can be used to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at some farmers’ markets, including both of ours. For more information, please contact the Department of Aging’s Information, Referral, and Assistance at 202-724-5626.

How it works:

For Senior Farmers Market benefits, visit the orange Market Information tent to inquire about which farmers accept these benefits. When you make a purchase using Senior Farmers Market benefits, the farmer will give you a receipt. Bring the receipt to the orange information tent and we’ll exchange it for Matching Dollars tokens.

  1. Bring vouchers to the market (check expiration dates!)
  2. Use the voucher to pay farmers directly for fruits and vegetables.

For more information about WIC “Get Fresh” and WIC Vegetable and Fruit Cash-Value Checks, contact the DC Community Health Administration/WIC State Agency at 202-442-9397.

Produce Plus (for DC residents only)

Produce Plus is a program funded by the DC Department of Health and administered by DC Greens. Eligible DC residents can receive $10 worth of Produce Plus checks when they visit a participating DC farmers’ market, up to two times per week. This program is first-come first-serve, while supplies last. Produce Plus checks can be spent on fresh fruit, vegetables, and cut herbs at over 50 farmers markets across the city. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables can help fuel your body with needed vitamins and nutrients, help you reduce your risk for some chronic illnesses (including type 2 diabetes), and help you manage your weight. Produce Plus distribution starts on June 1st, and checks expire on September 29th, 2019.

How it works:

  1. Visit one of the markets that distribute Produce Plus.
  2. Find the Produce Plus volunteers at the farmers’ market’s information booth.
  3. Show:
    a DC photo ID
    and
    an EBT card, Medicaid card, WIC ID folder, senior vouchers, Medicare QMB card, or SSI card.
  4. You will receive two $5 Produce Plus checks. Spend the checks on fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, or cut herbs at your favorite DC farmers’ market! Remember to spend your checks before they expire on September 30th.
  5. Get more checks! You can get Produce Plus checks twice per week. We encourage you to shop every week for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables at your farmers’ market.

You are eligible for Produce Plus if you are a DC resident over 16 years of age and receive one of the following benefits:

  • SNAP (EBT/food stamps)
  • Medicaid
  • WIC
  • TANF
  • Senior Grocery Plus (Commodity Supplemental Food Program)
  • SSI Disability
  • Medicare QMB

To learn how to start receiving any of these benefits, contact DC Hunger Solutions.