Market coup

Oroville and Paradise farmers’ markets now accept EBT cards

Butte County residents who receive food stamps (now called SNAP—Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) can now enjoy the benefits of fresh, local foods thanks to a new program that’s bringing EBT-card readers to local farmers’ markets.

The idea is simple: Customers bring their EBT cards to a central location—currently only offered at the Paradise and Oroville markets—where credits will be turned into tokens, which can then be used as money at market booths.

With one in eight Americans receiving SNAP benefits, this is a coup for both the low-income residents who will now be able to buy fresh, local foods as well as for the farmers, who will be able to expand their customer base. Terry Givens, who heads the Chico, Paradise and Oroville markets, says in a release that she hopes to offer this service at Chico’s Saturday market starting in December.