Offering Maryland Market Money at Your Market
Maryland Market Money allows farmers markets to broaden and diversify their customer base by helping food-insecure Marylanders stretch their limited food budgets and gain better access to fresh, healthy, local foods. This in turn helps create a welcoming community space for community members while also supporting local producers by increasing vendors' market-generated revenue.
How it Works: At the Market
Market Managers are responsible for promoting and implementing Maryland Market Money at the market throughout the season. All Maryland Market Money ($1 tokens) is distributed at a central market table managed by market staff and is limited to $5 per customer per market day.
Customers using SNAP/EBT at the market visit the market table to swipe their SNAP/EBT card for a desired amount, which is then returned to the customer in the form of the market’s SNAP/EBT currency (i.e. $1 tokens). Customers are then eligible for an additional $5 in Maryland Market Money currency that can be spent on any SNAP-eligible food items. If a customer spends less than $5 in EBT, market staff matches but does not exceed the purchase amount in Maryland Market Money.
FARMERS MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM (FMNP)
Customers using FMNP at the market use their coupons with an eligible vendor of their choice. After making their purchase, customers receive a paper receipt from the vendor indicating which type of check they used and the amount spent. Customers turn this receipt in at the market table in exchange for an additional $5 in Maryland Market Money currency that can be spent on any SNAP-eligible food items.
At the end of each market day, managers track the amount of Maryland Market Money spent with each vendor and reimburse accordingly.
Data Collection and Reporting
All managers participating in Maryland Market Money are required to collect data on federal nutrition benefits spent at market, participant numbers (both vendors and customers), MMM distributed, and MMM redeemed at each market throughout the season. (See here for a complete listing of required data.) Data is then reported to MDFMA on a biweekly basis, and MDFMA provides market managers with monthly feedback on data trends and analysis. MDFMA also provides managers with several templates for data collection at market and works with managers to develop a data collection and reporting system that complements each market’s unique operational structure.
MDFMA continually fundraises for Maryland Market Money throughout the year and works with participating markets to develop sustainable market-based fundraising strategies to support MMM at each site. Prior to the season, MDFMA works with participating markets to determine each market’s MMM needs for the year, and available funds are then allocated accordingly.
How to Participate
At the beginning of each calendar year, MDFMA accepts applications from market managers interested in bringing (or continuing!) Maryland Market Money at their market. If you are interested in applying for the upcoming season, please use the button below to access the online application form and submit by March 2, 2018.
Any market interested in participating in Maryland Market Money must meet the following requirements:
- Have at least TWO vendors who are farmer-producers selling their own agricultural products (fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy, grains, eggs) either raw or processed;
- Be scheduled to occur at a regular time and location a minimum of EIGHT times in one calendar year;
- Accept all forms of federal and state nutrition benefits that can be spent at farmers markets, either at a market- or farmer-level;
- Provide MMM match for all forms of federal and state nutrition benefits that can be spent at farmers markets;
- Demonstrate ability to comply with program requirements, especially regarding data collection and reporting;
- Complete and submit MMM application by March 1; and
- Finalize market logistics by March 31, including: established location, day/time, opening/closing days, and committed list of vendors.
If you have questions regarding your market’s eligibility to participate in MMM or the application, please contact Shelley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2018 MMM Application for Participation