Farmers’ Markets No Longer Accepting SNAP

By Lura Jackson

 

Local residents who enjoy frequenting the farmers markets in the area during the coming warmer months may be met with a limitation as a result of a federal decision to stop offering SNAP or EBT service in Calais and in Eastport at those markets, according to farmer Amanda Savage of Savage Forest Farms. 

The decision was not in the hands of the coordinators of the farmers markets but was rather determined at the federal level based on the low numbers reported from usage. When it was offered, SNAP holders were able to purchase locally grown vegetables and fruits at the stand through the use of a federally-provided machine. 

While SNAP is no longer accepted at the Calais and Eastport farmers markets, Savage said that individual farmers will continue to accept WIC for those receiving such benefits. Whether or not a farmer accepts WIC is entirely based on their individual decision, Savage explained. 

This year, the farmers market in Calais will be opening on June 13th and it will run regularly on Tuesdays from 11-2. Efforts to reschedule the market – championed by some farmers but resisted by others – were rebuffed once again. To help meet the needs of those who are unable to make it to the 11-2 mid-afternoon window, Savage and a few other farmers will be offering fresh produce in the Tractor Supply parking lot on Thursdays from 3-6. The farmers market in Eastport will begin on June 17th and run on Saturdays from 11-1.