This program, offered in conjunction with the Maine Local Foods Access Network (MLFAN), is available to farmers, farmers’ markets, food hubs, and co-ops (“markets”) wishing to offer SNAP/EBT access. (Preference will be given to markets participating in the Maine Harvest Bucks program.)
How it Works:
- The market obtains an FNS number from the USDA and an EIN number from the IRS.
- Confirm that T-Mobile cellular service (or a password protected WiFi network) is available at the market site. (The most reliable way to do this is to have someone with T-Mobile service visit the market site and see if they get at least 3 bars.)
- The market fills out MFFM’s EBT Equipment Program Application.
- If approved, MFFM will advise the market of next steps. (The process typically takes about 2 weeks from the time the market applies until the equipment arrives.)
Markets will receive the following:
- Technical support in applying for and setting up EBT equipment.
- Reduced-cost EBT equipment (wireless PAX s90 with internal printer from Dharma Merchant Services)
- Discounted processing fees (see MFFM column in this EBT Equipment options chart)
- Access to marketing and promotional resources.
The Farmers’ Market Coalition is currently accepting applications for their Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program. Your market must meet one of the two eligibility requirements:
- Your market does not currently possess functioning EBT equipment, OR
- Your market does possess functioning SNAP EBT equipment, but received that equipment before May 2, 2012.
The market must be able to pay merchant service fees up front (typically about $40/month). See various merchant service provider expenses side by side to compare in this chart.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services may reimburse these fees quarterly. (Transaction fees are never reimbursable.) For more information about the reimbursement process, contact:
Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Office for Family Independence
Attn: Don Ellis
19 Union Street SHS #11, 3rd Floor Augusta, ME 04330