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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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Sorting out the terminology link ebt snap and food stamps1
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 cont
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
Assists People in Transition Stamps cont..

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
Helps Families Make Healthier Choices Stamps cont..

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
SNAP Benefit $$$ in Billions Stamps cont..FY 2011 preliminary numbers


Persons receiving snap benefits fy 2011 preliminary numbers
Persons receiving SNAP Benefits Stamps cont..FY 2011 preliminary numbers


Is a link program feasible for your market
Is a LINK Program Feasible for your Market? Stamps cont..

* 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 market1
Is a LINK Program Feasible for your Market? Stamps cont..

  • 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
How SNAP/LINK works in the Market Stamps cont..

  • 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 systems token or paper
Redemption systems Stamps cont..Token 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
Redemption systems Stamps cont..“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
Ideas on Improving your existing program? Stamps cont.. 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 programs1
Ideas on Improving your existing program? Stamps cont..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
What did customers buy? Stamps cont..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
What did customers buy? Stamps cont..DVCP purchases 2011 season

a program of

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


Basic first steps
Basic First Steps Stamps cont..

  • 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
For help with bringing EBT/LINK to your market contact… Stamps cont..

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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