Access New Retail Customers by Accepting the Michigan Bridge Card
Farm market and farmer’s market operators can learn how to access Michigan Bridge Card holders through an on-line seminar.
March 31, 2011 - Author: Joanne Davidhizar, Joanne Davidhizar, Michigan State University Extension
One of the ways to provide fresh fruits and vegetable from the bounty of the state’s farms to income-limited families in cities and rural areas is through the acceptance of the electronic benefits transfer (EBT), or Michigan Bridge Card. The Bridge card is a debit card on which Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamp benefits are accessible.
Farmer’s market and farm market operators are joining the thousands of Michigan food retails accepting the Bridge Card for eligible purchases. The system is convenient, fast, and secure. Dedicated equipment may be obtained for free, or other point of sale devices modified for Bridge Card use. Training and support is available, including a 24-hour telephone line.
The Michigan Food Assistance Partnership is linking both farmers markets and on-farm markets with Bridge Card-holders through its awareness and education efforts. A recent program offered by Michigan Farmer’s Market Association provided a comprehensive overview of the Bridge Card acceptance application process, equipment, recordkeeping, outreach, and more for the prospective retailer. A recording of this webinar entitled “Accepting Bridge Cards at Michigan Farmers Markets” is now available for free viewing on the Internet at: http://csmottgroup.acrobat.com/p82955708/. Additional information about these programs and the Michigan Farmer’s Market Association may be found at: www.mifma.org and Michigan Farm Marketing & Agri-Tourism Association at www.michiganfarmfun.com.