Enjoy Fresh Food and Support Local Economy: Shopping with Your EBT at Farmers’ Markets


People from diverse backgrounds choose to buy locally for several reasons. They appreciate the freshness of the products and want to support their local economy. Additionally, knowing where their food comes from is important to them. Shopping locally not only benefits individuals but also contributes to the economic, environmental, social, and overall well-being of our communities. In this blog post, we will explore how you can use your EBT card at farmers’ markets and discover the many advantages of shopping locally.

Using your EBT card at a farmers’ market:

  1. Check if your local farmers’ market accepts EBT:
    • Visit the farmers’ market website and social media pages or call your county extension agent to find out if EBT is accepted.
  2. Visit the farmers’ market information booth:
    • At the information booth, you may receive wooden or plastic tokens that you can use like cash at individual vendors’ booths.
    • Some vendors may have the equipment to swipe EBT cards directly at their booths when you purchase their products.
  3. Explore additional programs and benefits:
    • Look for programs like Double Dollars in your area. These programs can double your SNAP benefit purchasing power. See if your local farmers’ market participates in such initiatives.

At farmers’ markets, you can use your SNAP benefits to purchase various fresh and healthy items, including:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • Herbs
  • Jam
  • Cheese
  • Plants that produce food
  • Wrapped baked goods to be consumed at home

There are certain items you cannot buy with SNAP benefits, similar to a grocery store. These items include hot prepared foods, alcohol, and non-food items.

Here are some helpful tips to enhance your experience at the farmers’ market:

  • Farmers’ markets are fun family outings, often featuring music, kids’ activities, food tastings, and special events.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask the farmers questions about their produce; they are happy to help.
  • Arrive early to get the best selection. Popular items like berries and corn tend to go quickly.
  • Take a quick lap around the market before making your purchases to compare prices and see what each vendor offers.
  • Keep in mind that most food at farmers’ markets is locally grown and picked fresh, so you will find only those fruits and vegetables that are in season. You can also refer to the KDA Produce Availability Guide on www.kyagr.com for more information.


Shopping locally at farmers’ markets provides numerous benefits for both shoppers and our communities. By using your EBT card, you can enjoy fresh and local food while supporting the local economy. Take advantage of the programs and initiatives available, such as Double Dollars, to stretch your SNAP benefits further. Remember, farmers’ markets are not just places to buy food; they offer a vibrant and engaging atmosphere for families to enjoy. So, plan your visit, explore the variety of products, and savor the goodness of locally sourced food. Find your local market here: https://www.planeatmove.com/farmers-markets-food-banks/ 

Source: University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service: Nutrition Education Program: Farmers Market Toolkit Brochure