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Q&A Session: SNAP Incentives in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs - Shared screen with speaker view
Anna Pfaff
I am in the office, so I will be listening, but not able to turn on computer
Rachael Ward (she/her) Farmers Market Coalition
Remember to add questions for Liv & Carrie about the Partner Shares program in the chat!
Diana Garcia Padilla
Liv, I signed on late. I am not sure if you already mentioned. Can you share your slide and a contact for future questions
Josh Wilder (he/him) MotherEarthNewsFair.com
Are you looking to expand outside of the five states you currently work in, and if so, at what pace are you hoping to do so?
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Hi Diana! Absolutely. We will share a contact slide at the end of the presentation.
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Hi, Josh! Thanks for your question. Yes, we are actively seeking to work with CSA farms in additional states. In particular, across the Midwest. As new farms join the Coalition, naturally, Partner Shares members from a broader geographic scope will start to participate in the program. We will be promoting farm endorsement across the Midwest in the fall of this year.
Jacqui VanLiew
I’m curious how you deal with missed pick ups? Do any of your partner farms require a deposit at the beginning of the season that gets returned if the customer doesn’t miss any pick ups, but gets deducted from if a customer does miss a pick up?
Erin Carey
Hi! Thanks for the great info. Just to be clear, FairShare pays the farms directly and Individuals pay Fair Share, not the farms directly?
Diana Garcia Padilla
How long is your CSA
Liv Froehlich (she/her)
Yes, that’s correct Erin!
Diana Garcia Padilla
Do you offer meat or just vegetables
Olivia Hart
Do you have tips or experience promoting CSAs with additional SNAP incentive programs like DoubleUp Food Bucks or Healthy Incentives Program in MA?
Margie Stelzer
Did I hear correctly that a farm needs to be a member of the coalition to be able to participate in the CSA incentive program?
Mason Durfee
Could you speak more to the online payment option that is being developed?
Ashton Potter Wright
how are you all processing payments--when folks pick up their shares or just a set time each week?
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Jacqui, great question. FairShare and farms do not require a deposit at the beginning of the season. We used to request a $25 deposit at sign-up, but it was administratively burdensome for everyone (us and the Partner Shares participant) so we eliminated this two years ago. We have had zero issues in doing this. Partner Shares members are typically very committed in following through with the program.
Diana Garcia Padilla
how do we apply for the incentive program
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Hi Erin, yes, that is correct! Re: how the payments work between FairShare, the farms and Partner Shares participants.
Gabi Graves
Do farms have to apply to accept SNAP or is that all done under the umbrella of FairShare?
Diana Broadaway
Andrew Graham, NOFA-VT (he/him/his)
Thanks for your presentation! At NOFA-VT we do a 50% cost-share for a CSA share at participating farms for however many people we can fund each season (so there is an application, but it's a low bar). We would love to be able to help folks use their SNAP benefits to pay for CSAs (and at farm stands) but we've been stymied by the bureaucracy of it. It's ridiculously hard to figure out how to get money from someone's EBT card into a farmer's bank account.
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
And, Diana, in response to your other questions. The length of the CSAs vary by farm. Partner Shares members can choose any option offered through our endorsed farms - so long as the shares are produced on farm. And this extends to vegetables, meat, honey, etc.
Joan Jach
Same here Andrew. We're in IL
Aly Reynolds
I know you mentioned that FNS is encouraging folks move away from the manual paper voucher system. What recommendations do you have for CSA's that have pickup sites in locations with limited internet and cell service, and they want to process SNAP payments at these locations?
Diana Garcia Padilla
dianapgone@yahoo.com personal, hopeforsfs@yahoo.com
Christina Ferroli
Who can become a member of CSA Coalition?
Aly Reynolds
Ok great, thank you for your answer Liv!
Liv Froehlich (she/her)
Food Access Toolkit (we have changed a number of processes since this was create. but this is a good jumping off point): https://42f75f84-4d13-4eef-b606-91efb6e74ffb.filesusr.com/ugd/caf970_8ddb898ffbe64068b7cf98d07d14b809.pdf?index=true
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Hi Margie, that is correct. A farm needs to be an endorsed farm in the Coalition in order to receive Partner Shares members.
Susan Dalandan
We have a similar program in the Lehigh Valley, PA. The organization does weekly orders and does mobile delivery to locations across the Valley. They get around the processing problem with EBT by taking the order and processing weekly through their office platform (online and phone-in) and then delivery that week. We also have community funding that adds double food bucks for double SNAP and voucher options for those who need that but don't necessarily qualify for SNAP.
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Hi Mason, sure thing. Here are two links to what is currently happening in this space:
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Susan Dalandan
The challenge is finding the funding to expand the program and finding the supply needed to meet the needs.
Mason Durfee
The idea to have the sliding scale model is awesome to account for any accounting gaps. What a fantastic example of mutual aid.
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Thanks folks for your patience as we catch up to the questions for the FairShare program. Ashton, we process payments on a monthly basis, when the Partner Shares member designated they would like us to debit their account. And, Gabi, the endorsed farms do not need to be SNAP authorized retailers themselves. It is all done under the umbrella of FairShare.
Susan Dalandan
Resources to tap: United Way, Community Foundation, funding that is made available through partnership with your regional food bank
Ashton Potter Wright
Thanks, Carrie--re: monthly debiting of SNAP card, do you all keep that info on file? My understanding was that FNS frowned upon that
Diana Garcia Padilla
I ready am interested, I am happy to see others doing this!
Liv Froehlich (she/her)
Hey Ashton, we keep manual vouchers on file (which you need for record keeping) they have the participant card # and signature (in the absence of a pin #)
Susan Dalandan
We are currently operating two pilots making the case for health insurers to fund, tying correlation of chronic disease indicators to food insecurity.
Joan Jach
Thank you for this presentation! Very helpful!
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
Christina, this was awhile ago - but here is the information for farms that are interested in becoming endorsed by FairShare. https://www.csacoalition.org/for-farmers
Jacqui VanLiew
Some things are out of date in this guide (I’ve been meaning to email them to see if they’ve updated it), but overall it’s helpful for the big picture of how to accept SNAP payments as a CSA: https://eorganic.info/sites/eorganic.info/files/u461/2013-3%20National%20SNAP%20CSA%20Guide.pdf
Rachel Mallinga
Thank you for this presentation and the resources in the chat.
Christina Ferroli
Thank you. Great information!
Andrew Graham, NOFA-VT (he/him/his)
Thanks everyone, have to run.
Diana Garcia Padilla
How many CSA members do you handle per season
Nina Budabin McQuown
How do folks who use SNAP find your program typically?
Carrie Sedlak (she/her)
We average around 200 Partner Shares members a year. We have 300+ members this year, due to increased funding related to the pandemic.
Susan Dalandan
Thank you! Awesome program!
Aly Reynolds
Thank you so much!!
Christie Welch
Thank you! Great information.
Jacqui VanLiew
Thank you!!
Josh Wilder (he/him) MotherEarthNewsFair.com
Diana Garcia Padilla
Thank you!