FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A farmers’ market in Frederick County is now accepting food stamps.

The Frederick News-Post reports that the Grace Community Church Farmers’ Market is now taking Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. According to a Maryland Department of Agriculture, it’s the only farmers’ market in the county and one of 17 in the state to accept the government benefit.

Food stamps were once commonly used at farmers’ markets. But the paper stamps were replaced by electronic cards in the late 1980s and markets couldn’t afford the machines to process them or didn’t have the electricity and phone lines to operate them.

Battery-powered wireless debit systems now are helping farmers’ markets accept the benefit again.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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