Every year low-income Massachusetts residents receive $1.2 billion to help buy food. On the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay examines the program called SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Until recently, the money was given out as food stamps—physical, tangible pieces of paper. But in the late 90s, SNAP went electronic.
Residents who get food assistance now get it in the form of an EBT card—essentially a debit card—that is recharged by the state. You can use it pretty much anywhere you could use a credit card. Unfortunately, this does not include most farmers' markets. But the number of farmers markets who accept SNAP is growing.
This episode is a rebroadcast of one that originally aired in May, 2012.