If you’re looking to purchase EBT equipment for your SNAP program, without the help of a grant to subsidize the cost, then you should fall into one, or ideally all, of these categories:
- Our market has offered SNAP for years;
- Our vendors are dedicated to keeping this program sustained;
- We have enough shoppers using SNAP/EBT that we can justify paying the equipment costs;
- We have a local partner that will help us with the costs and administrative responsibilities of running the program.
MFFM has compiled information from a number of equipment and service providers to list out the options and compare them across important categories.
(11/2/2018 Update: Maine DHHS will reimburse markets for certain EBT equipment fees)
Comparing EBT equipment options
EBT devices are high-tech equipment that come with a significant up-front cost. There are also ongoing fees (monthly and annually) for markets.
Things to consider when purchasing EBT equipment on the open market are:
- Equipment cost: What can you afford? Should we rent this year, rather than buy a machine outright?
- Equipment model: Is this model known as user-friendly? What is its battery life? What do other people have to say about it?
- Cellular/ wireless Connection: What cell service does the machine use? Does your market’s physical location work with that cell service? Is the machine wi-fi capable, and can your market use that?
- Special offers to markets: Many service providers recognize the good work farmers’ markets undertake to make their markets accessible to all. We list out their offers in our EBT comparison chart.
- Fees: What are the monthly, start-up, annual and one-time fees associated with each machine?
- Seasonality/contract length: Many markets don’t need to have their machine running year-round. Many companies recognize that and offer to put a freeze on your account during the off-months.
We encourage any market that needs to purchase EBT equipment to connect with MFFM’s SNAP Program Coordinator, Jimmy DeBiasi, first.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (207) 370-1524. We can help you find the best fit for your market.