PIQUA —The Piqua Community Farmers Market is making itself available to more people in the community by now accepting Ohio Direction Cards and credit cards.
“We get requests almost weekly at the market from folks who are asking if they can use their benefits at the market,” Lorna Swisher, executive director of Mainstreet Piqua, said. “We were very fortunate to get a grant from the Piqua Area United Way to help us move forward on this.”
The grant helped purchase the technology needed to allow shoppers with the Ohio Direction Card to use their benefits for select items at the Piqua Community Farmers Market, including fruits, vegetables, breads, and other eligible items, starting immediately. The Piqua market is the first and only market in Miami County to go through the process of certification to be allowed to accept food stamps at the weekly market.
“I see it as a need that we can help meet in the community,” Swisher said.
In addition to EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer), this technology also allows the Piqua market to accept credit cards for the purchase of market dollars. Market dollars can be used at any vendor at the market and are available in whole-dollar increments.
Shoppers may also save money by going to the market for their produce, and now more people are able to experience that benefit whether they carry cash or a card. Swisher said that the prices for the prices for locally grown produce at the market are “extremely competitive” with the prices of produce at grocery stores.
Those who would like to use their EBT benefits at the Piqua market will bring their direction card to the information booth to get swiped and receive the amount of market scrip dollars they would like (based on their available balance). The EBT scrip dollars never expire and can be used for all the items that are usually eligible through the program.
“I’m excited. I think its a great opportunity to be of service to an even bigger part of the Piqua community,” Swisher said.
The Piqua Community Farmers Market is held each Thursday afternoon from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on High Street in front of the Piqua Public Library. A listing of all the vendors at the market can be found at www.piquafarmersmarket.com.
Questions about the food stamp program at the Piqua Community Farmers Market can be directed to Mainstreet Piqua at (937) 773-9355.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336