Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica Ziehm

December 21, 2009

Food Stamp Summit for Farm Direct Marketers

With the economy still causing double digit unemployment, the food stamp program has seen record level usage. In New York State, food stamp enrollment has risen 19% over the last year. This means that 1.3 million households all across New York, in September 2009, are using the food stamp program to supplement their income to purchase their family’s food.

The need is widespread. It is across every county, and it is across every demographic. From consumers with low wage jobs to those who once had high paying careers, consumers all across the state are finding that food stamp assistance is now helping them bridge their needs until they can get back on their feet.


For direct marketing farmers, the food stamp program represents an opportunity. By accepting food stamp benefits at your operation you can be a part of the solution, helping your neighbors in need, while adding income to your farm.


On January 27th, the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Farmers Market Federation of NY, in cooperation with the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, will host a Food Stamp Summit for Farm Direct Marketers. The Summit, presented at the NYS Fruit and Vegetable Expo at the OnCenter in Syracuse, from 9am – 2:30pm, will give an overview of the food stamp program. Speakers for the NYS Office for Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and The USDA Food and Nutrition Service will discuss the food stamp program – what is the food stamp program, who are food stamp consumers and what are the benefits to farms for being a food stamp retailer. This will be a information packed session that will inform, enlighten and encourage farm marketers to become a part of the food stamp program.


Finally, a wireless solution for farms that lack electricity and telephones to participate as a traditional food stamp retailer will be presented. This project, sponsored by the OTDA and the NYS Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Farmers Market Federation of NY will offer wireless terminals and support services for the 2010 farm season to help farm marketers get started in the food stamp program, aid in outreach to food stamp consumers in their community and demonstrate the benefits of participating in the food stamp program for their farm. Details of the program, along with opportunities for participation, will be given out at the summit.


The Food Stamp Summit for Farm Direct Marketers runs concurrently with the NYS Fruit and Vegetable Expo. Registration is required. For more information on the Expo, contact Jeff and Lindy Kubecka, NYS Vegetable Growers Association, at 315-687-5734 or email


To pre-register for the Expo, download the registration form at


For more information on the Food Stamp Summit for Farm Direct Marketers, contact Diane Eggert, Farmers Market Federation of NY, at 315-637-4690 or, or Jonathan Thomson at 518-457-7076 or


2009 Press Releases