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Business and Economy

Maine Farmers Can Get Reimbursed For Card-Processing Fees, Equipment

Food Stamps
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP file
In this Friday, March 17, 2017, file photo, a sign advertises a program that allows food stamp recipients to use their EBT cards to shop at a farmer's market in Topsham, Maine.

Following a record-breaking season, state officials are reminding farms and farmers markets that they can get help buying card processing equipment, and get card processing fees reimbursed.

It's part of a program to allow farm stands to sell their food to customers who use food benefit cards such as SNAP, as well as the Electronic Benefit Transfer Card, which allows people a cash benefit to spend on items that may not be covered under SNAP.

According to the Maine Federation of Farmers Markets, a record $250,000 in SNAP benefits were spent directly with local farms during 2020.

Producers who have smartphones or a tablet, and good wireless connectivity, can apply through an independent program called MarketLink.

Those who don't can apply for help from Maine's Farm Food Access program, which launched in 2020. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30, or until funding runs out.

More information is on the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry website.