Three markets now accepting SNAP

Low-income individuals and families in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may use their benefits at three Maui markets to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables, the state Department of Human Services said.

SNAP beneficiaries also can purchase breads and cereals, meats, fish, poultry and dairy products at open markets, as well as seeds and plants that produce food that can be eaten, the news release said.

Recipients of SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, may use their SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer cards at:

* Green Dragon Markets, 200A Waiehu Beach Road, Wailuku.

* Makawao Farmers Market, 3654 Baldwin Ave., Makawao.

* Upcountry Farmers Market, Kulamalu Town Center football field parking lot, Pukalani.

Hawaii’s participation in SNAP is at a historic high. An average of 94,649 households per month received SNAP benefits in fiscal year 2013. An average of 187,062 individuals per month received SNAP, and the state issued an average of $484.9 million per year in SNAP benefits.

In addition to ensuring that SNAP beneficiaries have access to fresh food, the ability to process EBT cards at open markets also benefits the vendors and local farmers. Every $5 in SNAP benefits generates $9 in community spending, the state department said.

The DHS EBT Office has been working with farmers markets to assist with the purchasing of EBT equipment and operating the devices.

For more information about Hawaii SNAP and EBT programs, visit the DHS website, call (808) 586-5739 or email