As the Bloomington Farmers Market continues to grow, we work to provide valuable education for our customers and a method to help drive sales for our vendors. Listed below are a few of the programs the Market Manager works on all year to create an exceptional customer and vendor experience. We also work to lower the barriers to food access that low-income families and individuals face by accepting EBT cards and FMNP coupons.
SNAP (EBT/Food Stamps)
To use SNAP, go to the Info Booth (located at the front of the Market), tell the staff how much money you would like to spend, and they will swipe your EBT card for the amount specified. You are then given your requested amount in $1 wooden tokens.
The same rules apply to SNAP at farmers markets as any other merchant. SNAP dollars are not eligible for ready-to-eat/prepared foods or non-food items (art, flowers, soap, etc.). SNAP tokens are valid for produce, meat, eggs, dairy, breads/bakery items, honey, jam, and packaged foods intended for take-home groceries. No change is given.
If you don’t use all your tokens that day, you can save them to use another day; EBT tokens never expire.
Market Bucks program
Through the Market Bucks program, BFM is able to match the first $10 that customers spend using their EBT card every day that they shop at the market. For the first $10 charged on your EBT card, you will be given an additional $10 in Market Bucks for free! Market Bucks can be spent in the same way (and are subject to the same restrictions) as EBT tokens. The Market Bucks program is currently funded by the Hunger Solutions Minnesota.
If you received a Market Bucks Gift Certificate please bring it to the info booth (located at the front of the Market) for market staff to exchange it for market money! Please do not give these gift certificates directly to vendors.
Farmers Market Nutrition program (FMNP)
FMNP checks are specifically for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables at authorized farmers’ booths.
Just ask staff at our Info Booth (located at the front of the Market) which farmers accept FMNP and they can send you in the right direction.
Reusable Bag Share Program
The market encourages customers to bring their own reusable bags to both reduce plastic waste in the environment and cut down on supply costs for vendors. To help eliminate the need for single-use bags, we have started a Reusable Bag Share program! Customers may take a free reusable bag from our wagon near the Information Booth at the front of the market if they forget their personal bags at home.
If you would like to donate extra reusable tote bags for other shoppers, please bring them directly to the Information Booth so we can sanitize them.