REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK | Farmer’s Markets and Food Stamps


Do you run any booths at a farmer’s market?  Do you have any experience with handling “food stamps,” or what is now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?  Do you do work with, or advocate for people at or below the poverty line?  If so, we need your help!  We are doing a story about farmer’s markets and food stamps — what is currently being done around the Twin Cities, what the rules allow, and how to get set up to work with SNAP benefits if you are a vendor at a farmer’s market. If you have stories, contacts or information for this story, email Sarah Vig –


The food assistance program known as “food stamps” had its origins in the Kennedy administration, when the program distributed books of stamps in three colors, based on their values: brown, blue and green.  The program was intended to give assistance directly to low or no-income Americans, and to target their food needs specifically.  The program has undergone numerous waves of reform in the intervening decades, notably doing away with actual stamps and replacing them with a bank card that recipients could use without the stigma of working with stamps.