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Purchase Garden Seeds with SNAP

I am fortunate to know a very kind and generous elderly woman who has been a ‘grandmother’ to a young disabled friend of mine. Her door was open to others in need, and she never asked for anything in return.

Recently, she was finding it difficult toEBT make ends meet: she had recently finished cancer treatments, her insulin costs just went up and food costs are rising. She wasn’t aware of the SNAP program that would provide addition income to put toward food, freeing up resources to meet her rising medical costs.

SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Benefits) are accessed through an EBT card (Electronic Benefit Transfer) which looks very similar to a credit or debit card.  Each month, the allotted money is automatically transferred to the card. The EBT card can be used anywhere groceries and fresh fruits and vegetables are sold.  For the past 10 years, SNAP recipients have been able to use their cards at farmers markets that display the sign that looks like the EBT card.  SNAP EBT benefits can be used to also buy seeds that bear food – such as peas, corn, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  You can also use the card to buy vegetable plants such as herbs, peppers, and tomatoes. The card cannot be used to purchase prepared foods and hot drinks that may be served at the Farmers Markets.

I am excited that my friend’s ‘grandmother’ can now afford to purchase quality fruits and vegetables. Eating better will improve her health and decrease her medical expenses. Do you know of someone who may qualify for SNAP, but may not be aware of the program and its benefits?  ~Brenda

Brenda Schmitt

Brenda Schmitt

A Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Family Finance Field Specialist helping North Central Iowans make the most of their money.

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