SNAP/CSA Pilot Program
The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) has been piloting a simpler means of payment for SNAP customers participating in CSA programs. Previously, payments were done through an EBT terminal or with manual vouchers. Now when a SNAP household joins a participating CSA, their payments can be debited from their EBT account, and paid directly to the CSA farmer. Each month during the CSA season, those payments continue to be automatically debited from their EBT account. The automatic debiting reduces the administrative burden for farmers and makes participation easier for those who receive SNAP benefits.
SNAP/CSA Partner Benefits:
- Significantly decreases the administrative burden (time, staffing) of managing a SNAP CSA, especially for direct farms.
- Eliminates the need for farms and non-profit CSAs to purchase or use any type of EBT equipment or infrastructure, along with their related costs and fees, or for upgrading processing equipment.
- Eliminates the requirement to settle each of the purchase authorizations.
- Facilitates the timely distribution of monthly CSA funds with a guarantee for the farmer to receive payment, thus reducing the number of lost shares.
- Increases the capacity of each CSA program to accept more SNAP customers, thus with the potential to expand existing programs making it financially viable for the farm.
- Removes a significant barrier for low-income customers to participate in a CSA model, providing a valuable service to communities.
Healthy Incentive Program (HIP):
- Starting in April 2017, SNAP customers will receive a dollar-for-dollar match when they purchase local fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and CSAs
- SNAP customers may earn up to a monthly cap of $40, $60 or $80, based on household size.
- HIP incentives are added immediately to SNAP recipients’ EBT account/cards. The earned incentives can be used right away, or saved for a future purchase at any SNAP retailer on any SNAP eligible foods.
- SNAP CSA programs will be promoted widely throughout the state.
DTA is recruiting additional CSA programs to participate in this year’s program. Please contact Mia Kortebein at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating.