Reporting Tim Williams
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Farmers’ Market and Bazaar is now giving you an option of how to pay for your produce.
Tim Williams has more on the new reason you don’t need cash to carry.
At the Baltimore Farmers’ Market and Bazaar, the introduction of electronic payment for produce is like music to the ears of merchants and shoppers like the Lynch family in Overlea. The Lynches lost power and food because of last week’s storms.
“We lost a lot of food. Our power went out for five days. It went out Friday evening or Friday night and didn’t come back until the Fourth of July at 4 o’clock in the afternoon,” said Savannah and Donald Lynch.
“As you look and you shop, look for the signs at each stall saying Independence and Debit cards are accepted here as of today,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Rawlings-Blake, along with members of the Agriculture and Health Committees, launched the Supplemental Assistance Program, or SNAP. It allows the use of debit or independence cards and Baltimore Bucks to purchase tokens of various denominations. The tokens are then used as cash among participating merchants.
“We just released $4 million new dollars across the country to farmers’ markets to make sure this service is available,” said USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.
The service means less cash on hand is needed and more buying freedom for potential customers, who may want to use more cash than they brought.
“We ran out and it was a matter of getting the tokens or leaving, so the tokens afforded us a chance to have something here,” said Josie Bodenstein.
Other area markets are also activating the card program. For more information, click here.