The use of food stamps at farmers’ markets has been authorized for some time. But the program has been limited because the federal government in 2004 replaced the traditional paper food stamp coupons with debit cards that were processed through electronic benefit transfer terminals. The system is expensive, costing about $1,100 for each terminal, plus monthly fees; furthermore, the majority of farmers’ markets operate outdoors, with no means to accept the debit card. “There’s a large expense associated with putting a terminal in each farmer’s hand,” said Jeff Cole, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Farmers’ Markets. Over the past five years, though, states and the federal government, with help from nonprofit organizations, have made hundreds of thousands of terminals available at farmers’ markets.awesome.
apparently, it's getting easier to use food stamps at the farmers' markets. from the nytimes: