EBT accepted at select farmers markets

LIHU‘E — Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Electronic Benefits Transfer programs will be able to shop at four farmers markets and sunshine markets, starting this weekend.

The Kaua‘i Community Market — coordinated by the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau — will be the first farmers market where SNAP and EBT cards will be accepted, Saturday at the parking lot of Kaua‘i Community College in Puhi, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sasha Figueira, the EBT coordinator at the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, will have a tent where recipients bring their EBT/SNAP cards for swiping.

In return, shoppers receive what KIFB Director Judy Lenthall described as “pogs” — special coins to be used to shop through the variety of vendors.

“We have 19 vendors ready to accept EBT at the KCC market,” Figueira said. “But we have more vendors who are anxious to be part of the program and we’ll be updating the list as the program progresses.”

In addition to the Kaua‘i Community Market, the SNAP/EBT cards will be accepted at the Koloa, Lihu‘e and Kapa‘a sunshine markets, states a flier from the KIFB.

Lenthall said this is a pilot program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the County of Kaua‘i and Get Fit Kaua‘i, Communities Putting Prevention to Work program.

Figueira said in addition to the vendors at the Kaua‘i Community Market, she has 18 vendors registered at Kapa‘a, 11 at Koloa and 16 at Lihu‘e markets, with more coming online.

The Koloa Sunshine Market, in Koloa Knudsen Ball Park, runs Monday from noon until 2 p.m.; the Kapa‘a Sunshine Market operates Wednesday next to Kapa‘a New Town Ball Park from 3 to 5 p.m.; and the Lihu‘e Sunshine Market is open Friday at the Vidinha Stadium Parking Lot from 3 to 5 p.m.

Figueira is excited about the start of the new program, taking the EBT card acronym and turning it into “Eat Better Today!”

Contact Figueira at 246-3809, ext. 100, or at sfigueira@kauaifoodbank.org for more information.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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