Spring Green Farmers Market: FoodShare and farmers market accessibility, keeping emergency benefits in the local economy

Spring Green Farmers Market Information

Through May 8th: Every Saturday from 10am-11am in the Spring Green Community Library parking lot.

Beginning May 15th: Every Saturday from 9am-noon in the Spring Green Community Library parking lot.

Masks and social distancing are required.

Pre-ordering is highly recommended, though many of the vendors do bring extra for day-of shopping, so you will be sure to find something that you like.

Participating vendors can be found at:

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) released a statement Monday announcing that all FoodShare households will receive a minimum amount of emergency benefits, per USDA guidance. Households began receiving these benefits over the weekend. DHS estimates that under this new guidance Wisconsin will provide more than $75 million in emergency allotments to over 411,000 FoodShare households in April. This is an increase over the $57.5 million in emergency allotments provided to 265,000 households in February. DHS stated that recipients will spend these resources at local grocers and farmers markets across the state.

The past year and a half have been unprecedented in living memory, nearly a million Wisconsinites received FoodShare in 2020 as the world grappled with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In an effort to increase accessibility to local, fresh produce and keep money in their local economy, many farmers markets have been working with the UW-Extension, WI DHS and the USDA to accept FoodShare electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards as a form of payment. With some markets asking each vendor to apply to accept benefits and other markets taking a centralized approach with the market itself accepting EBT payment in exchange for tokens that are then spent with each vendor.

Locally, according to the USDA, the Dodgeville Farmers Market accepts FoodShare EBT payments. The Spring Green Farmers Market currently does not.

Valley Sentinel asked Jane Hauser, Spring Green Farmers Market Manager, about whether the market was looking into being able to accept these payments and what she was excited about most as the start to the official Farmers Market approaches.

“We are currently looking into being able to participate in the Food Share program. The State has made it easier for Farmers Markets to offer assistance to people dependent on SNAP and we are hoping to take advantage of it. Last year, we provided food for individuals that inquired about SNAP, and just covered the cost. We, also, have had generous community members offer to pay vendors for providing food to people experiencing financial hardship. Our mission is to support our local farmers and food producers to offer healthy, quality, locally-sourced products to the community and we are very grateful for the support we’ve received in return from our community, particularly during the past year of Covid related challenges. While we’ve been successfully providing a one hour Market throughout the winter, we look forward to opening the full time Saturday, Farmers Market on May 15th, from 9am-noon.”

—Jane Hauser, Spring Green Farmers Market Manager

Farmers market vendors and patrons are encouraged to express to market managers if there is interest in a centralized system to accept EBT FoodShare. In the meantime, individual vendors are able to quickly sign up to accept EBT and can apply to WI DHS to have point of sale devices provided at no cost.

More information can be found on the UW-Extension website.