The Maine Harvest Bucks program offers nutrition incentives (bonuses) to low-income shoppers at participating farmers’ markets, CSA farms, and farm stands selling local produce. With Maine Harvest Bucks, shoppers using SNAP via an EBT card* gain access to healthy, local food and receive bonus local fresh fruits and vegetables, stretching limited benefits much further. Increasing the number of consumers who buy local food contributes to the growth of our local economy, creates community connections, and facilitates healthy eating!
In 2018, there are more than 30 farmers’ markets, plus CSA farms, farm stands and other venues accepting SNAP benefits and offering Maine Harvest Bucks incentives.
- Search our database to find Maine Harvest Bucks markets and visit maineharvestbucks.org to see a listing of all the farmers’ markets and other sites.
- If you’re a farmer or a market already participating in Maine Harvest Bucks, check out our Maine Harvest Bucks Resources Page.
- Shoppers can visit the farmers’ market page on the Maine Harvest Bucks website for a full listing of farms.
*SNAP = Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a federally-funded benefit program specific to the purchase of food
*EBT = Electronic Benefit Transfer, the method by which SNAP benefits (and occasionally other funds) are distributed to the individual, similar to a debit card
Additional Program Details
Maine Harvest Bucks (MHB) are issued to SNAP customers at markets based on how much SNAP they use to purchase any SNAP-eligible food items at market. Our markets all match MHB dollar for dollar.
For instance, if a shopper spends $15 with SNAP at a participating market, they’ll be given an EXTRA $15 of Maine Harvest Bucks to go spend at the market. That totals their spending to $30 worth of fresh, local food at the market!
Maine Harvest Bucks can be redeemed only for fruit and vegetables fresh or processed without salt, sugar, or fat added. Your MHB vouchers (aka coupons) can be saved and spent at the market on a different day (like blueberry season!).
Markets wishing to participate in the FINI project and be a part of the Maine Harvest Bucks program should look for next year’s call for new market applications, likely to be announced in January 2019. Email SNAP@mffm.org for more information.
Market Participation Requirements
- Must be authorized to accept SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) payments.
- Must have a valid FNS number from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and have obtained a Point of Sale (POS) device.
- Need to demonstrate that the market as a whole has decided to participate in the FINI grant. (In most cases, the market will submit a copy of the relevant meeting minutes when the decision was reached.)
- Must have a designated staff person or volunteer responsible for the project who has the capacity to fulfill requirements of the program.
- Have an established, written plan for reimbursing vendors for SNAP sales and incentive redemption at least biweekly.
Questions about Maine Harvest Bucks at farmers’ markets?
Farmers’ markets: Jimmy DeBiasi SNAP@mffm.org (207-487-7114)
Questions about Maine Harvest Bucks at other site types?
CSAs: Heather Omand: email@example.com
Farm stands and mobile markets: Kathleen McKersie, firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about Farm Fresh Rewards (MHB’s sister brand at small store locations)?
Co-ops and food hubs: Shannon Grimes, email@example.com (207- 338-6575)