Increase Percent of Farmers' Markets accepting Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)

This goal is measured by tracking the percentage of Farmers' Markets accepting EBT.

Certified Farmers' Markets

The number of Farmers' Markets in total, and the proportion that accept EBT.

How are we doing?

The Department of Agriculture, Weights, and Measures (AWM) is actively partnering with the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) to increase the number of San Diego County Certified Farmers’ Markets (CFMs) offering Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) to their customers. In 2016, there was a special US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Retail Signup Event (taking a 30 – 45 day process and condensing it down to a two-hour process for approving a CFM or Certified Producer (CP) to offer/accept EBT) paired with a Direct Marketing 101 workshop. These efforts have helped to increase the proportion of CFMs offering EBT from 12% in 2013 (7 of 54) to 35.1% in 2018 (13 of 37).

Why is this measure important?

Certified Farmers' Markets (CFMs) offering EBT are important for two reasons: 1) Increasing the opportunity for residents in underserved communities to access fresh, healthy, and locally grown produce increases the health of individuals as well as the community, and 2) Offering another option for payment, especially if the EBT offering is coupled with Market Match to double the shoppers’ benefit dollars, drives additional spending on fresh fruits and vegetables that results in increasing the long term sustainability of Certified Producers and CFMs.

Where are we going?

AWM and HHSA are continuing to partner in promoting the acceptance of EBT at Certified Farmers' Markets (CFMs), focusing on those CFMs adjacent to underserved communities where it makes the most business sense to offer EBT. We are planning to have a second annual USDA Retail Signup Event coupled with the annual Direct Marketing 101 workshop. We are also exploring an awareness outreach pilot focusing on increasing community support and participation for a CFM in or near an underserved community. Our efforts are focused on seeing the number of CFMs offering EBT continue to rise and increasing awareness of EBT offerings at CFMs for EBT users, along with helping reduce barriers that prevent EBT users from shopping at their local CFM.

How is this measured?

The percentage of Certified Farmers' Markets (CFMs) offering EBT is calculated by taking the number of  CFMs offering EBT, divided by the total number of CFMs. This measure is calculated once per year, and it is based on the total number of CFMs operating at any time during the year.
For more information
County of San Diego
Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures
Agricultural Standards
(858) 614-7786