The USDA FNS is working to increase the participation of Direct Marketing Farmers and Farmers’ Markets (DMFs/FMs) in SNAP, to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables by low-income Americans.

Some federally funded programs are available and requirements vary based on the type of funding and State to State requirements.  Some federal funds which may be available have limited time of usage (1 year only), which means that you would be responsible for subsequent years and may not quality once you obtain funding for future funded programs.

MerchantSource does offer seasonal account closures to assist markets in offsetting cost during closed months.  There are certain programs which we provide services thru that cover certain fees as well as equipment for longer periods (than just one year).  Contact us 1-800-313-5198 for more information to see if this is available for your market.

SNAP/EBT Offline Manual Vouchers

If your business is unable to process a SNAP/EBT card on your POS device, then you may use manual SNAP/EBT offline vouchers. To obtain manual vouchers, contact your state’s EBT processor to request the vouchers that are accepted by that particular EBT processor. When using a manual voucher, your staff must call the state’s EBT processor to verify that funds are available in a customer’s EBT account and, if so, place a hold on the purchase amount. The customer must then sign the voucher for the purchase amount.  Once you have an approved SNAP Offline Voucher you will need to process that transaction thru your electronic POS device as a “VOUCHER SALE”  and input all of the requested information from the SNAP/EBT offline paper voucher.  If you are unable to successfully complete this step, you will need to reach out to your States EBT processor for assistance.  The States EBT process will vary from State to State.  You can locate your States provider information on the internet. IF you have to submit the voucher to the State’s EBT processor then they will then pay you, via direct deposit (usually within two business days).

What is Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)?

P-EBT was established by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and is part of the U.S. government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  While P-EBT is similar to SNAP benefits it provides these benefits to children that would have received free or reduced price school meals, if the school had been closed or hours reduced due to COVID epidemic.

On Nov. 4, 2020, FNS published the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Integrity Final Rule, which is codified at 7 CFR 284.1. This rule requires FNS to treat P-EBT benefits the same as SNAP benefits for the purposes of identifying and sanctioning program violators.

For more information about P-EBT please visit the USDA FNS website.

WIC Farmers' Market

Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)

The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is associated with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, popularly known as WIC. The WIC Program provides supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education at no cost to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding post-partum women, and to infants and children up to 5 years of age, who are found to be at nutritional risk.

The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is a Congressional-authorized program designed both to provide resources in the form of fresh, nutritious, unprepared foods (fruits and vegetables) from farmers’ markets to women, infants, and children who are “nutritionally at risk” and to expand the awareness, use and sales at farmers’ markets.


  • Provides participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) with coupons to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs at farmers’ markets or roadside stands that have been approved by a State agency to accept FMNP coupons.
  • Works to expand the sales and to promote the awareness and use of local farmers’ markets.
  • Provides participants with FMNP coupons in addition to their WIC vouchers.
  • Operates in 37 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and five Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs).


  • 2.6 million people participated in FY 2005.
  • Women, infants older than 4 months of age and children certified to receive WIC program benefits or who are on a waiting list for WIC certification. State agencies may serve some or all of these categories.