Food Assistance Programs at the Market

Food assistance programs are federally and state funded programs that help qualified individuals purchase nutritious foods. Several major programs that farmers markets can participate in include the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, SNAP, and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Participating in Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (FMNP) can broaden your market’s customer base, increase vendor sales, and improve local food access in your community. Learn more about each of these programs below: 

SNAP at the Market

SNAP is short for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Authorization takes place with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. While the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs train and authorize individual vendors, SNAP authorization is usually done by the market board or market manager. Accepting SNAP is a great way to provide more revenue for your vendors and provide low-income local food access for your community. Technical assistance is available through the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) to help navigate nutrition programs as needed. 



Becoming a SNAP Authorized Market   

To become a market that accepts SNAP, follow these steps:  

  1. Apply to become an authorized site at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website.
  2. Purchase a card-processing machine through a merchant service or visit the MarketLink website to apply for free EBT/card-reader equipment (for farmers and farmers markets only)
  3. Create a coin or voucher to give SNAP recipients at the market

To learn more about accepting SNAP at your Montana farmers market, download the ATTRA publication How to Accept SNAP Cards at Your Farmers Market. If you need to speak to someone directly, email: 

Tammy Howard 

Maura Henn 

Ian Finch, Food Access Program Manager, 


Farmers Market Nutrition Programs for Market Managers and Vendors, Webinar, ATTRA, YouTube Website

How to Accept SNAP Cards at Your Farmers Market, ATTRA Website

MarketLink Website 

Attracting SNAP Customers to Your Farmers Market, FNS-USDA Website  

Double SNAP Dollars

Montana’s SNAP Nutrition Incentive Program
Double SNAP Dollars Logo MT

Double SNAP Dollars Logo MT

Many states across the country participate in SNAP incentive programs that match a customer’s SNAP benefit, effectively doubling the amount of money that can be spent on fruits and vegetables. In Montana, the program is called Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) and is administered by the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) and the Double SNAP Dollars Network.  

 At participating farmers markets, CSAs, farm stands, and grocery stores, when SNAP customers use their Access Card to purchase any SNAP eligible item, they receive a dollar-for-dollar match (up to $20-$30 depending on the location) that can be used to buy more fruits and vegetables.    

To learn more about Double SNAP Dollars, visit Double SNAP Dollars  or contact Maura Henn at or Ian Finch, CFAC Food Access Program Manager, at 

How Double SNAP Dollars Works at Farmers Markets

Resources Website

Expanding Double SNAP Dollars Opportunity Fact Sheet, CFAC, (pdf direct download)

 WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program 

WIC Montana Logo

WIC Montana Logo

The Montana WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is a federal program established to provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to those enrolled in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program. 

The WIC FMNP is administered through county WIC offices, which oversee promotion of the program, distribution of FMNP coupons to WIC participants, and training and monitoring of participating vendors. Farmers/vendors are individually trained. The market manager does not help to coordinate the program other than potentially organizing/hosting a training at the market meeting. 

It is important that all coupons are redeemed. If a new market participates and there isn’t enough produce for the demand, or if there is low participation in the program, the vouchers may go unused, and this will impact state funding. 

Sign up for WIC

You can learn more about the program and find details on how to become a WIC authorized farmer at the Farm Direct Program Website . 

For more information on the program, contact: 

Glade Roos, WIC Farm Direct Program Manager for MT 

(406) 444-2841 

You can also connect with the Local WIC agency in your area. The State WIC office can provide you with contact information for your local office and answer any additional questions you may have. The State WIC office can be reached at (800)433-4298 or (406) 444-5533.


WIC Farm Direct Program – How to Apply, (pdf direct download) 

WIC Farm Direct Initial Questionnaire, (pdf direct download)  

Farmers Market Nutrition Programs for Market Managers and Vendors, Webinar, ATTRA, Youtube Website

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program  

The SFMNP is currently administered by the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition in partnership with Agencies on Aging, Senior centers, and other community organizations across the state. This program serves adults 60 years of age and older.  Older adults must meet income requirements: 185% of federal poverty level which in 2023 is $2,248 monthly for one person or $3,041 for a couple.  

Currently, about 1,700 older adults in Montana are being served through this program. Participants receive $48 in coupons to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and raw honey produced in Montana and sold at participating local farmers markets. Coupons can be used from June 1 to October 31 – just look for the SFMNP / SNAP Vendor poster to know if a farmer accepts SFMNP coupons. Participant applications become available by early June each year, and older adults who are interested in receiving SFMNP coupons are encouraged to contact the local agency in their area.

There are currently 14 distribution sites in 24 communities and their markets that are participating in the program. Farmers interested in accepting senior coupons during the summer farmers markets in the participating area are required to complete an agreement and take part in a brief annual training. This can be done online through the CFAC website , over the phone, or in person when possible.

For more information on this program and farmer training, visit CFAC or contact:James Keys with the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) at (406) 926-1625. If you are interested in becoming a participant and receiving coupons, please contact your local agency. 


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