Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are now accepted at the Saranac Lake Farmers’ Park-It, a curbside, order-ahead pickup model, through May 28. SNAP, formerly known as “food stamps”, is a federal program that provides low-income families with funds to purchase groceries. Since most vendors aren’t equipped to individually process EBT cards, a market-wide exchange program is required. This is the first year SNAP has been available through the winter and to pay for online-orders through Park-it.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Essex County, and AdkAction piloted this new local food access program at the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake farmers’ markets this year from May to October. Shoppers exchanged their SNAP benefits for tokens redeemable at the market. At those two markets, over $1,700 SNAP dollars were spent on local food during the summer season.
This fall, CCE and AdkAction worked together again at the Saranac Lake Indoor Farmers’ Market to provide the same program, and will continue as the market transitions to just a Park-It after the holidays. Prior to this program, SNAP benefits have not been accepted year-round at any farmers’ market in Essex County.