Low-income cards now accepted at select city-run open markets

A new city program will help low-income food shoppers save money and eat healthier.

The pilot program, which kicked off Tuesday at four separate people’s open markets, allows shoppers to use their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards to buy fresh local produce.

In the past, it was up to the individual vendors to accept the food assistance cards, but now all vendors will be accepting EBT payment in the form of tokens.

“So they bring their EBT card, they go to the table, they say how much they want to spend — say $10 — and they get tokens,” explained Honolulu City Council member Breene Harimoto.

“They give they us the tokens, then we take it to the EBT supervisor and we get a receipt and two weeks later, we get a check,” said Don Nakama of Nakama Farms.

If the program is successful, the city will expand it to all people’s markets across the island.

SNAP/EBT customers can now purchase their fresh produce at the following OPM locations:

Waipahu District Park
94-230 Paiwa Street
Tuesdays 8:15 – 9:15 a.m.

Wahiawa District Park
North Crane & California Avenue
Tuesdays 10 – 11 a.m.

Ewa Beach Community Park
91-955 North Road
Fridays 9 – 10 a.m.

Kaumualii Street
700 Kalihi Street
Saturdays 8:15 – 9:30 a.m.

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