Public Market Token Program for SNAP Recipients

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Connecting people with SNAP benefits to fresh, healthy, affordable food

Through the Market Token program, wooden tokens are easily used as Market currency, making it possible for customers with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) "food-stamp" benefits to get fresh, healthy, affordable foods from vendors at the Market. Customers stop at the white Market Token Center behind the Market Office house to swipe their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and purchase $1 and $5 tokens that function as cash and are accepted by dozens of Market vendors. Tokens are available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Tokens can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, dairy products, baked goods, honey and spices, processed foods, and even seeds and even plants that produce foods.

When people have ready access to affordable, healthy foods they are more likely to make healthy food choices. As a result of the Market Token Program, 90% of participants report eating healthier.

Might you qualify for SNAP?  The income guidelines have changed! 
 SNAP eligibility brochure 2017-2018
 SNAP eligibility brochure 2017-2018 Spanish  

Market Token Program Superlatives

Just how successful is our Market Token program? For the period Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017 (the fiscal year for the federal USDA SNAP program), SNAP redemptions through the Market Token Program at the City of Rochester Public Market exceeded $1 million.  This translates into some pretty impressive (unbelievable!) metrics...

  • 3.5% of the national total of all redemptions at all 7,377 farmers markets nationwide that accepted SNAP  
  • 28% of the state total of all redemptions at all 439 farmers markets across New York State that accepted SNAP 

Note that this performance is despite a 35% increase in overall national SNAP redemptions at farmers markets nationwide between 2012 and 2017, and a remarkable 130% increase in the number of farmers markets that accepted SNAP between 2012 and 2017. 

Managed by the Friends of the Rochester Public Market

This nation-leading program is managed by the Friends of the Rochester Public Market, the City's essential non-profit partner--with just one part-time paid manager and a legion of dedicated volunteers.

Volunteer!

The Friends of the Market also welcomes additional volunteers to help with the Market Token Program! If interested, call Margaret O'Neill at the Friends office at 585-428-7292 or email marketfriends@rochester.rr.com.

Information and Contact

For more information on this  program, or to request materials and/or a presentation, contact the Friends office at 585-428-7292 or email marketfriends@rochester.rr.com.