February 2018: Farmers' Market EBT News  
for California Market Managers, Farmers, and Friends
Quick Links
EBT Training Webinar on Tuesday!
Our EBT Training Webinar is just around the corner and there's still time to sign up! Join us Tuesday, February 27th, 2018  f ro m 10 - 11:30 am to learn all about how to establish, im plement, and promote your own EBT program. If you already have access to EBT, share with your networks to anyone you think would be interested! 
For more information, and to sign up, click here.
Apply to be a Market Match Partner
If you think your market would be a great fit for our Market Match program, now is your time to  apply! We will be accepting application s until March 23rd, 2018 .

We are looking for markets in high areas of need, that have had EBT access for at least one season. Please visit our New Partner Application page for all the requirements and instructions on how to apply. 

Feel free to reach out to us at marketmatch@ecologycenter.org with any questions.
For those of you who already accept EBT, you may have received notice about FIS Government solutions resubmitting contracts and distributing new POS devices. This is happening because FIS has renewed their contract with CDSS (California Department of Social Services), and needs to renew their agreements because the ones from previous years are no longer valid under this new contract. Nothing should be changing on the farmers' markets end, other than getting a new POS device. If you haven't heard from them yet, or have any questions or concerns, reach out to us at ebt@ecologycenter.org.

With that news, we also want to give notice about outside contractors trying to get farmers' markets to give them their information. If you receive paperwork that is not from CDSS or FIS, it could be an outside contractor trying to dupe you into signing up for their services. Some outside contractors have been aggressively trying to get farmers' markets to pay for terminal fees--which farmers' markets in California should never have to do, thanks to CDSS' program that covers the cost of POS devices and covers all transaction fees. Thank you to everyone who has given us a heads up about this happening, and if you hear about this in your area or unsure of how to respond to any paperwork let us know! Read more about this issue by  clicking here

We're excited to welcome our newest member to the Farmers' Market Access and Equity Team: Luisandra! 

Her experience includes interning as a Nutrition Assistant and Spanish Translator at Salud Clinic in West Sacramento, and working as a Microbiology Quality Assurance Lab Technician for a vitamin company. She is passionate about pushing the boundaries on what to eat - including insects - and how to grow food. Luisandra received a B.S. in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis where she was exposed to topics such as environmental sustainability, horticulture, food systems, supplements, and nootropics. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, dancing, taking road trips with her dogs, and learning more about hydroponics and aquaponics. 

Luisandra joins us as our newest Program Associate and will be assisting with EBT technical assistance and outreach, maintaining the FM Finder website, and working on Market Match data related projects. 
We Can Help You Add CalFresh EBT Access at Your Farmers' Market!
The Ecology Center currently has grant funding to assist farmers' markets across California in becoming authorized to accept CalFresh EBT.

By providing one-on-one training, technical assistance, tools, templates, and materials, we have assisted hundreds of market in becoming CalFresh EBT accessible. We can help you too, and it's free! We can assist with:
  • FNS application
  • Obtaining a FREE wireless Point of Sale device
  • Ordering and purchasing scrip
  • Bookkeeping and accounting tools
  • Market staffing and redemption models
  • Print-ready outreach materials and press release templates
  • Free at-market signage
  • Listing on the Farmers' Market Finder
  • Incentive programs like Market Match
The process for a farmers' market is easy. Contact us today
Statewide Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program

ebt@ecologycenter.org, 510-925-4001