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The National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) Awarded Cooperative Agreement With USDA

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Bluetooth card reader provided by MarketLink
The Cooperative Agreement Will Help Increase Acceptance of SNAP EBT at Farmers and Farmers Markets Through the Marketlink Program

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - eTradeWire -- NAFMNP is thrilled to announce they have been awarded a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS). This cooperative agreement will enable NAFMNP to continue their dedicated support for direct marketing farmers (DMFs) and farmers markets (FMs) across the nation to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through the MarketLink program. This agreement is set to span from fiscal years 2024 - 2026.

Under the agreement, MarketLink (in partnership with Novo Dia Group's TotilPay) will continue to serve DMFs and FMs by providing a comprehensive suite of services, including:
  1. One-on-one assistance with the SNAP retailer application;
  2. Free Bluetooth SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card reader compatible with iOS and Android devices (iOS 12/Android 5 or higher);
  3. At least one free year of the MarketLink app subscription needed to process  SNAP payments;
  4. No transaction processing fees for using the app.
MarketLink will also offer a free one-year extension of the app subscription to DMFs and FMs earning $500 or more in SNAP sales annually. MarketLink will automatically apply the free renewal for applicable DMFs and FMs. Designed to alleviate the financial burden of maintaining the app subscription, this offer will ensure the success of accepting SNAP benefits at farmers markets and farm stores across the country.

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In line with NAFMNP's mission to increase access for consumers to purchase fresh produce from local growers, MarketLink will also work with relevant organizations to increase SNAP recipients' purchases of locally produced food from DMFs and FMs.

NAFMNP Executive Director, Phil Blalock, expressed his optimism regarding this recent
cooperative award, stating, "This new cooperative agreement will give farmers and farmers markets the opportunity to firmly establish themselves as SNAP vendors for the second year in a row. This will enable them to reach and serve customers they may have otherwise missed."

Likewise, FNS Administrator Cindy Long emphasized the significance of the agreement by
stating, "This partnership underscores our commitment to expanding access to fresh, locally grown food for SNAP participants while supporting our hardworking farmers. It paves the way for healthier communities, and stronger local economies. Together, we are sowing the seeds of a more nutritious and sustainable future."

The MarketLink program has a track record of success since its creation in 2013. MarketLink has helped thousands of DMFs and FMs to collectively generate an impressive total of $104.7 million in SNAP sales and $63 million in credit/debit sales. MarketLink's reach extends nationwide, with active equipment supporting farmers and farmers markets in all 50 states. With this new cooperative agreement, NAFMNP and MarketLink continue their mission of supporting farmers and farmers markets, expanding SNAP access, and promoting the benefits of local food systems for all.


About the National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP)

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NAFMNP is the nation's only organization that links States, the District of Columbia, Indian
Tribal Organizations, Territories, and others with a stake in USDA's Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs (including local fruit and vegetable growers and low-income families and seniors) with a shared mission to cultivate access for consumers to buy fresh produce from local growers.

About MarketLink
MarketLink, a program initiated by NAFMNP, is dedicated to strengthening the link between
federal nutrition assistance programs and direct marketing farmers. MarketLink assists farmers markets and direct marketing farmers through the "SNAP Equipment" and the "SNAP Online" grants, and works with state and program partners to build payment processing systems that can accept eIncentives, eWIC, and eS/FMNP. MarketLink has a long-term vision of sustainability for farmers and markets through a broader customer base, increased sales, and profitability.

About Novo Dia Group (NDG)
As the creator of TotilPay, their mission is to remove the complexities and excessive costs that come with accepting Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) at point-of-sale. TotilPayTM was built by technology and retail payments experts to make EBT acceptance as simple as all other tenders at point-of-sale. They developed the only fully certified POS solution with integrated EBT software so that merchants and mobile vendors no longer have to worry about check-out inefficiency, difficult record-keeping requirements, multiple POS systems, changing regulatory requirements, and unnecessary costs when accepting EBT payments.

Amy Crone

Source: NAFMNP

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