Ways to Pay
Cash, tokens, and other ways to pay at farmers markets
All farmers markets accept cash, but many accept the forms of payment listed below, as well. Check the Market Directory to see which of these forms of payment are accepted at your local farmers market.
Check out our Product Eligibility Guide!
Some markets use a token system that allow you to swipe your credit/debit card in exchange for tokens that the vendors accept like cash. Other markets can point you to a near-by ATM. Many individual vendors may also accept credit/debit cards.
SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the largest federal nutrition assistance program formerly called food stamps. In Michigan, the Bridge Card is the common name for the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card used by recipients of federal food assistance benefits. You can use your SNAP Bridge Card at many farmers markets by visiting the market information booth and receiving tokens to spend at the market.
To learn more about whether you may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits or to complete an application, visit the MI Bridges online resource. If you need additional assistance find a list of local navigation partners or search for a community partner near you.
How do I use my SNAP Bridge Card at a farmers market? Most markets have an information booth or office where a staff person can swipe your SNAP Bridge Card. You’ll tell the staff person how much you want to spend from your Bridge Card, and you’ll receive Bridge Card tokens for that amount that you can use to purchase SNAP-eligible food items at the market. Each farmers market issues its own unique Bridge Card tokens – these are worth $1 each, and are generally only good at the market where you received them. Money is deducted from your Bridge Card account the day you get the tokens, whether or not you spend the tokens that day. If you don’t spend all your tokens, you can save them and use them another day. Bridge Card tokens do not expire and can be spent any time during the entire market season or following seasons.
What may be purchased with SNAP tokens? SNAP tokens CAN be used to buy: fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, cheese, bread, eggs, and seeds or plants to grow vegetables in your own garden. Tokens may not be used to purchase hot food products.
Double up food Bucks
For every $2 of SNAP benefits (food stamps) customers spend at participating farmers markets, customers get $2 of free Double Up Food Bucks to spend on any Michigan grown fruits and vegetables – up to $20 per day the market is open. You can use the tokens right away or save them to use another day. Double Up Food Bucks tokens do not expire so they can be used all season long and even the following years and at other participating farmers markets. Each Double Up token is worth $2 and can be used at any participating farmers market in Michigan. Watch the video to learn how to use your SNAP Bridge Card and Double Up Food Bucks at participating farmers markets. Visit doubleupfoodbucks.org to learn more and find all the locations where you can use the program.
What may be purchased with Double Up tokens? You can spend your Double Up Food Bucks tokens on Michigan grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
When you use your Bridge Card at a participating market, you’ll automatically get an equal value of Double Up Food Bucks tokens, up to $20 per market day.
Wic project fresh
WIC Project FRESH is a program that makes fresh produce available to low-income, nutritionally-at-risk consumers, through Michigan farmers markets. Women and children up to age 5 (excluding infants) currently enrolled in the WIC program can get coupons that can be used to purchase for Michigan-grown fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets. Program coupons are accepted at participating farmers markets from June 1 – October 31 every year. If you are interested in this program, contact your local WIC office in April or May to sign up, or follow this link to learn more. You can reach the Washtenaw County WIC Office at (734) 544-6800.
What may be purchased with WIC Project FRESH coupons? Participants may buy Michigan grown fresh fruits and vegetables, but are especially encouraged to buy broccoli, carrots, potatoes, squash, peaches, apples and tomatoes. A variety of produce rich in vitamins A, C, and folic acid are emphasized. Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Lemon Grass, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Summer Savory, Sorrel, Tarragon and Thyme.
Can I use my WIC Card at the market? No, at this time there is not a way to use normal WIC benefits at most farmers markets.
senior project FRESH/market fresh
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, known as Senior Project FRESH/Market FRESH in Michigan, provides older adults who qualify, with $20 in coupons to purchase unprocessed, Michigan-grown products from participating farmers markets and roadside farm stands throughout Michigan. Program coupons are accepted at participating farmers markets from June 1 – October 31 every year. To qualify for the program an individual must be: 60 years of age or older and have a total household income of 185% of the poverty line or less. If you are interested in this program and you live in Washtenaw County, contact Amanda Ng at Washtenaw County Health Department by email or at 734-544-2973 to find out how to enroll. If you live outside Washtenaw County, follow this link to learn more and find the lead agency contact for your county.
What may be purchased with Senior Project FRESH/Market FRESH coupons? Eligible items include Michigan grown fresh fruits, vegetables, food-bearing plants, herbs, and honey.
SENIOR MARKET BUCKS
Senior Market Bucks, a program administered through St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, encourages seniors to eat better and to make healthy food choices. The program provides local seniors with coupons to purchase qualifying food items at participating farmers markets. To be eligible for the program, participants must be 60 years of age or older and live in Washtenaw County. The program operates from June – October 31 every year in Chelsea and Manchester and from November - early December in Dexter and Chelsea.
What may be purchased with Senior Market Bucks? Eligible items include fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy, meat, poultry, fish, and honey.
prescription for health
The Prescription for Health program connects patients from select health clinics to the farmers market. Health care providers write "prescriptions" for their patients to eat more fruits and vegetables, patients attend a group enrollment session, and then take their prescription to the Prescription for Health booth at participating farmers markets to receive tokens to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fruit/vegetable plants. This program operates from June – December. Individuals must be referred for this program by a participating health clinic. To see if your clinic participates in Prescription for Health, or find out more, click here!
Hoophouses for health
Hoophouses for Health is a program designed to increase access to fresh, local fruit and vegetables for vulnerable families while at the same time expanding the season extension capacity of Michigan farmers. The program provides zero-interest, five year loans to farmers to build new hoophouses. Eligible families can receive Hoophouses for Health vouches or a market card through participating community partners. Families use the vouches or market card to buy locally-grown food or food-producing plants from participating farmers at local farmers markets-- look for Hoophouses for Health signs at the farmers’ stand. The vouches help the farmers repay their loan! At this time, Old City Acres at Ypsilanti’s Depot Town Market is the only participating farmer in Washtenaw County. Click here [TM1] to learn more.
Inter-market token use
Washtenaw County markets participate in many token programs, all with their own specific rules. Some of these may be used at multiple markets, but not all. If a token has the name of the market on it, it is most likely only good at that market. Ask the market team for help understanding how to use the tokens you have!
Please note that some programs have expiration dates. WIC Project FRESH coupons, Senior Project FRESH/Market FRESH coupons, and Prescription for Health tokens can only be used during the calendar year that you receive them. However, SNAP tokens and Double Up Food Bucks tokens do not expire. You can bring them back to the market from week-to-week or even season-to-season to spend at the market.