On the Spectrum -- Farmers' markets should accept 'food stamps'

Assembly Bill 537, authored by State Assemblymember Juan Arambula, would require farmers' markets to accept the electronic benefits transfer card that is commonly referred to as "food stamps." I believe this is an idea worth supporting. Full Story
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Reimbursement

Fort Dodge, IA

#2 Aug 3, 2010
How does the system work? If the farmers markets did accept EBT food stamps, how and when does the State reimburse the farmers? Do they get full price of goods purchased? If I were a farmer I would be opposed to having to deal with the Government. On the other hand, it would be great for those on assistance of food stamps. These are tough economical times.
Poor souls

United States

#3 Aug 3, 2010
Ditto FLICK THAT. Boy go after the working folks again. This is a small way for some to make a living,who wants the government involved.BAD BAD. The last time I checked the local store they had produce.Let them shop there.If they can't pay cash, go where they accept food stamps. Don't make the farmers cater to them.
Farmers please stand up for your rights. Myself,I like the people that have cash at these markets. Take your cards and shop else where.
Donna Christopher

Hidden Valley Lake, CA

#4 Aug 3, 2010
Saw this subject on the news over the weekend. They interviewed a guy who set up and managed several farmers market. He got one of those little machines that accept the EBT card and gave the cardholder chips, very much like poker chips, to be used in his markets like cash. At the end of the day the participating farmers would 'cash in their chips' with this man. And he did this because he sees we are in 'tough economical times'! And it was not a requirement to sell at his markets if you didn't want to, but most farmers aren't interested in hauling anything back to the farm/ranch so most participated.
High Prices

United States

#5 Aug 3, 2010
I don't believe that it's right for welfare money to be spent at farmers markets. The reason I feel this way is that a lot of the produce at a typical farmers market is overpriced. Keeping in the same line of thinking I don't believe that food stamps should be able to be spent at an elitist store like Whole Foods. Why should the taxpayer foot the bill for someone to go in and buy peaches at Whole Foods for $3.80 a pound when they can go to safeway and buy quality peaches for 1.59 ????
Donna Christopher

Hidden Valley Lake, CA

#6 Aug 3, 2010
High Prices - you mean those cheap peaches picked by illegal workers the entire nation is doing a meltdown over? Make up your mind - immigration reform or cheap produce!
Reimbursement

Fort Dodge, IA

#7 Aug 3, 2010
High Prices wrote:
I don't believe that it's right for welfare money to be spent at farmers markets. The reason I feel this way is that a lot of the produce at a typical farmers market is overpriced. Keeping in the same line of thinking I don't believe that food stamps should be able to be spent at an elitist store like Whole Foods. Why should the taxpayer foot the bill for someone to go in and buy peaches at Whole Foods for $3.80 a pound when they can go to safeway and buy quality peaches for 1.59 ????
Understand what you are saying, but that's a slippery slope. Because a family is struggling because Dad & possibly Mom lost heir jobs, due to the economic crisis, they aren't entitled to good food/produce? Seems biased.
Poor souls

United States

#8 Aug 3, 2010
So the farmer has to take more time out of his day to go cash in his funny money! NOT! go to safeway where they are set up for them.
Donna Christopher

Hidden Valley Lake, CA

#10 Aug 3, 2010
Yeah, you're right poor soul. That is to much to ask of the poor farmer - to walk all that way! Probably has to walk by the guy on his way out of the market area but hey, no one forces you to make more money. I'd like to hear from some growers - would you rather walk across the lot to cash in your chips or walk across the lot taking back that which you did not sell?
Just A Jet Ski

Lakeport, CA

#11 Aug 3, 2010
I think they should grow their own produce. It's a great way to save money, seeds are cheap.
Provocateur

United States

#12 Aug 3, 2010
You haven't bought many seeds have you?
Jonathan Donihue

San Leandro, CA

#14 Aug 3, 2010
Wow. What a great topic to insite so much contraversy. It sounds like a lot of farmers markets are already jumping on board. If that's the case I can only assume that accepting food stamps is an additional source of revinue for the vendors in question. Also, didn't the collumn say that it would be a requirement only for "certified farmers markets?"

Thanks Cynthia for making us think!
Liz Arndt

Burlingame, CA

#16 Aug 3, 2010
How much will those little machines that take the EBT cards cost the people at the farmers markets? Is the cost deductible as an operating expense on their taxes?
Provocateur

United States

#18 Aug 3, 2010
What ever we do remember don't support your neighbors or your local farmers. Keep agri businesses stranglehold on agriculture.
Donna Christopher

Hidden Valley Lake, CA

#19 Aug 3, 2010
Liz - yes, the are a deductable business expense. The report I saw they only needed the one machine for the market so it is a minimal outlay for the merchant manager - then we have everyone making more money from their crop and and people in need being fed. Oh, the horror. ;)

Prussian

Lakeport, CA

#21 Aug 3, 2010
Farmers markets should not accept food stamps. It is too easy to abuse in the open market. Keep them in the stores with a computer, this is just corruption waiting to happen.
gdubia

Aptos, CA

#23 Aug 3, 2010
Donna Christopher wrote:
Liz - yes, the are a deductable business expense. The report I saw they only needed the one machine for the market so it is a minimal outlay for the merchant manager - then we have everyone making more money from their crop and and people in need being fed. Oh, the horror. ;)
So I guess you don't mind that people can use food stamps to buy take and bake pizza (cecil's in clearlake), as well as sandwiches from the safeway deli. If I were on hard times, and concerned for my family's ability to eat, I sure the hell wouldn't be out buying a pizza for $15, but I guess if I was working under the table and the food stamps were free money -why not! There has to be some balance but I do not believe that we need to create laws telling businesses what forms of payment they have to take. I also believe that people need to understand that while the government has agreed to provide sustenance (food in this case) to people that cannot afford it, they are not ENTITLED to the best of the best. There are meals that I cannot afford to eat every day, where's my entitlement!
Provocateur

Half Moon Bay, CA

#24 Aug 3, 2010
Go apply for your own food stamps.
gdubia

Aptos, CA

#25 Aug 3, 2010
Exactly! This sounds like my 5 year old nephew when I told him I didn't have any cash on me. He said, "just go to that machine that gives you money." I guess that is the mentality of someone so accustomed to living off others, no regard as to where the money comes from, just go get more!
LTZ

United States

#26 Aug 4, 2010
I think that I am very very tired of government telling people what they can and cannot do! For crying out loud, why don't they try enforcing some of the laws that are already on the books instead of dumping more crippling rules on everyone!
Provocateur

Lolo, MT

#27 Aug 4, 2010
gdubia wrote:
Exactly! This sounds like my 5 year old nephew when I told him I didn't have any cash on me. He said, "just go to that machine that gives you money." I guess that is the mentality of someone so accustomed to living off others, no regard as to where the money comes from, just go get more!
My mistake. Go get a job.

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