Getting your ebt program up and running
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Getting your EBT program Up and running. Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps. Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps. SNAP: S upplemental N utrition A ssistance P rogram, formerly known as "food stamps”

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Getting your EBT program Up and running

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Getting your EBT program Up and running


Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps


Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps

  • SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as "food stamps”

    • Administered by the USDA office of Food and Nutrition Services(FNS).

    • Federal program that helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need for good health.

  • EBT: Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows recipients to access their SNAP benefits using a card similar to a credit card.


Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps


Sorting out the terminology: LINK, EBT, SNAP, and Food Stamps cont..

  • LINK: The name for the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system used in Illinois to distribute food and cash assistance benefits, including SNAP.

    • The card used to redeem benefits is known as a Link card. Each state has a different name for its EBT system-- for example, Louisiana Purchase, Golden State Advantage (California), Oregon Trail, Lone Star (Texas), or Hoosier Works (Indiana).


Assists People in Transition

National Characteristics of SNAP Households

48%

of all participants are children

$711 is the average gross monthly income per SNAP household

79%of all benefits go to households with children

58% of households with children are headed by single parents

Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2009, USDA FNS


Helps Families Make Healthier Choices

SNAP-Eligible Food Purchases

  • Breads and cereals

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Meats, fish and poultry

  • Dairy products

  • Fruit or Vegetable producing plants/seeds

Households CAN use SNAP benefits for:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco

  • Any nonfood items, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products

  • Vitamins and medicines

  • Food or hot meals that will be eaten on-site or in the store

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits for:


SNAP Benefit $$$ in Billions FY 2011 preliminary numbers


Persons receiving SNAP BenefitsFY 2011 preliminary numbers


Is a LINK Program Feasible for your Market?

* Staffing and support

  • LINK/EBT coordinator

    • Works the LINK booth/tent/table

    • Keeps track of receipts, tokens, incentive program

    • Prepares accounting reports


Is a LINK Program Feasible for your Market?

  • Backroom Accounting

    • Processes checks for vendors

    • Pays transaction fees if any

    • Between 2-4 hours work per week


How SNAP/LINK works in the Market

  • Needs a special redemption system

    • Since most farmers/vendors do not have a machine at their stand for processing, a method of exchanging food for payment needs to be in place.

      • Token, Script, or Receipt?

Token

Paper

Receipt


Redemption systemsToken or Paper?

  • Easier for Customers to use, more back end accounting for you.

  • Accounting

    • Keep good accounting of stock – do 3 counts and record!

      • 1st of complete stock.

      • 2nd of Tokens given out.

      • 3rd of tokens coming back from Farmer.


Redemption systems“CHITs”

  • Easier for Market Manager, more work for shopper

  • Be sure to have extra Generic CHITs on hand.

  • Keep all returned CHITs for accounting at end of day.

Farmer John 01

$10.00

Apples


Ideas on Improving your existing program? Incentive Programs

LINK Up Illinois Double Value Coupon Program(modeled after Wholesome Waves DVCP) helps to increase a SNAP recipients buying power for food at Farmers Markets.

This is basically a 2 for 1 program

(up to a certain amount)


Ideas on Improving your existing program?Incentive Programs

  • Helps to grow your market by reaching new customers who could not otherwise afford to purchase fresh and wholesome foods.


What did customers buy?SNAP purchases 2011 season

a program of

Data from 11 of the 20 LINK Up Illinois supported markets.


What did customers buy?DVCP purchases 2011 season

a program of

Data from 11 of the 20 LINK Up Illinois supported markets.


Basic First Steps

  • Apply to with Food and Nutrition Service http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers/application-process.htm

    • Online application.

    • Turn around time less then 45 days, faster for Farmers Markets.

  • Determine How to process payments

    • Free EBT only Machine from FNS

      • Need phone line and electricity

    • Voucher

      • Can combine with EBT machine

    • Buy, rent, or get FREE Wireless Machine from third party processer

      • Responsible for processing fees


For help with bringing EBT/LINK to your market contact…

Corey Chatman

LINK Up Illinois Program Manager

Email [email protected]

(o) 773-241-6044

(cell) 773-896-4450

Experimental Station

6100 S. Blackstone

Chicago Il 60637


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