Monday, July 13th, 2009

Families who receive Foods Stamps can now use them to buy fresh produce at many farmers’ markets throughout the state, including several in Morris County, under a new state program to promote healthy eating.

Under the pilot program, Food Stamp recipients can now scan their Families First Electronic Benefits Transfer cards at machines at participating farmers’ markets.
Many tailgate farmers’ markets have not been able to accept the EBT card because they did not have access to the electricity or telephone line needed to process transactions online.

The pilot program provides farmers with the wireless equipment they need to process these transactions. The farmers will be able to use this equipment at the various farmers’ markets around the state where they sell their produce.

In Morris County, the Parsippany, East Hanover, Madison, Morristown, Netcong and Riverdale farmers’ markets are participating in the new program, as is the Bader Farm Market in Pine Brook.

The pilot program is a collaborative effort of the state departments of Human Services and Agriculture.

More information about Food Stamps and a list of all of the farmers’ markets accepting Food Stamps may be obtained by visiting the New Jersey Food Stamp Program Web site, www.njfoodstamps.com. Food Stamp information is also available from the Morris County Department of Human Services Office of Temporary Assistance at 973-326-7800.