Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The federal government is spending $4 million to help hook up farmers and low-income customers.
Currently, fewer than a quarter of the nation's roughly 7,100 farmers markets are set up to use the Electronic Benefit Transfer system, or food stamps. But Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary of agriculture, says she hopes these grants will bring another 4,000 of those outlets on line with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The money is to equip these locations with wireless "point of sale" equipment to be used with the food program's debit cards. Grants range from $5,404 for Delaware, which has 11 markets, to $426,945 for California, with 687.