August 2, 2018
Governor Cuomo Assures There Will Be No Interruption in Service for SNAP Recipients at GrowNYC Greenmarkets This Season
Thanks to the continued leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State has created a plan to ensure that customers across the United States using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at farmers markets can continue to do so, thus protecting the viability of farm businesses in New York and throughout the country.
For the past month, the capacity to accept SNAP/EBT at many farmers markets was in jeopardy. Without Governor Cuomo’s support, the company that operated the app used by Greenmarket and 1700 other farmers markets across the country, Novo Dia Group, would have gone out of business on July 31st. Now, Novo Dia’s app, Mobile Market Plus, will remain in operation at least through February 2019.
GrowNYC is dedicated to ensuring that all New Yorkers can choose to participate in a regional food system, support local farmers, and have access to healthy, local food. We thank Governor Cuomo for his continued leadership in championing upstate growers and connecting them to New York City farmers markets.
"Governor Cuomo’s tenure has been marked by a steadfast dedication to safeguarding the viability of our state’s farms, whether through supporting the New York State Greenmarket Regional Food Hub or promoting and expanding the production of New York State craft beverages. This extension until February will allow enough time to find a permanent solution to processing SNAP at farmers markets; we are deeply grateful for Governor Cuomo’s help,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, CEO and President of GrowNYC.
In 2017, GrowNYC processed $1.1 million in sales for farmers through SNAP/EBT cards, and we provide an additional $400k in Health Bucks to SNAP customers to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables, all of which goes directly into farmers’ pockets, helping to keep their farm businesses viable and bolstering rural economies in New York. Throughout the uncertainty of the past month, we’ve been heartened by the effluence of friendship and support from many, many organizations across the state and the country.
Update as of Thursday, 7/19:
The National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs is providing funding to keep Novo Dia Group operating for an additional 30 days. While we are thankful for this immediate short term solution, there remains a need for a permanent fix to this issue. Please continue to contact your represenatives and ask for their support of SNAP acceptance in farmers markets.
Read the full press release here.
Recently, there have been stories in the press about farmers markets losing the ability to accept SNAP. GrowNYC was notified earlier this month that Novo Dia Group, the company that operates the app that Greenmarket uses to process SNAP at market, is going out of business as of July 31. This impacts farmers markets all over the country.
GrowNYC’s priority is to continue to accept SNAP at every one of our locations without any break in service. We are dedicated to providing a marketplace accessible to all.
Partners in New York State, New York City, and across the country are working to come up with short and long term solutions. Additional updates will be shared on this blog post as they develop.
In the meantime, please contact your Congressional representative to ask them to sign on to the letter being led in the House by Congressman Jim McGovern. The letter expresses concern over the impact of NDG's shutdown and will be sent to USDA FNS. (NYS senators Schumer and Gillibrand have already signed onto the Senate’s letter.)