The ability to impact the experience of multiple users around local food accessibility is something we care about most at Farm Brigge. There are over 8 million SNAP Bridge card users and over 8,600 farmers markets in the U.S. This process will positively impact farms and the USDA, as well.
Today, the SNAP Bridge card process for purchasing food at farmers markets is managed entirely through the distribution of wooden tokens. Tokens are allotted to the SNAP Bridge card from the market. The SNAP user then pays the farm with the tokens. The tokens are collected by the farmer and redeemed with market manager at the end of the market day, and a payment is then issued to the farm.
Our application will eliminate the use of tokens, creating ease in the process and a means for capturing important data points.
Currently, there is no other process in place or application to improve this process, according to our conversations with MIFMA, Farmers Market Coalition and USDA FNS.
Market managers today are faced with challenges in capping the amount of tokens available to distribute to a SNAP Bridge card user, or even decline a request if no tokens are available. Therefore, hindering the opportunity for a SNAP Bridge card user to purchase local farm food at the market. This application will remove that constraint and allow the SNAP Bridge card user to request any amount they have available.
Through data capture, vital information will be available for the USDA, as well.
What I Will Do With $5,000
Farm Brigge has created a design prototype for this application and pitched it to Farmers Market Coalition, Michigan Farmers Market Association, Fulton Street Farmers Market and the USDA FNS (SNAP) program for feedback. We are now at the development phase of the project.
The grant funds would be used for:
- IT development of the web based application from scratch
- Any needed plug-in applications such as security frameworks and payment processing systems
Estimated project costs of 8-10k.