Boston Farmers Markets

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Learn more about the Boston Bounty Bucks program and its impact on fruit and vegetable consumption in our new report Farmers Market Impact on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption.

SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also know as food stamps, provides financial assistance to enable low-income Americans to purchase food.  In Massachusetts, this program is administered by DTA (Department of Transitional Assistance).   Participation in the program has increased dramatically over the past 5 years and DTA continues to develop new initiatives to improve participation by increasing awareness and eliminating barriers to participation.  SNAP benefits are accepted at many of the farmers markets throughout the city of Boston.

Not participating in SNAP yet, check here to find out if you qualify and to apply.

Boston Bounty Bucks

This innovative program helps to make healthy food more affordable by providing a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $10, each time a SNAP client shops at a participating farmers market.

How does the Boston Bounty Bucks program work?

Participating in Boston Bounty Bucks is simple.  No need to save coupons or register in a program, you need to do visit a participating market and shop.

1) Visit the market managers table at a participating farmers market and tell the person staffing the EBT machine how much you would like to spend at the market.

2) Your EBT card will be swiped for half the amount you request, up to $20.  If you choose to spend more than $20, you will receive a discount of $10.

3) After using your EBT card you will be handed Bounty Bucks, plastic bills that you can use like cash with the market vendors.  But note, since this money is actually a federal benefit you cannot receive change for your purchases.

4) Shop at the market and enjoy your food!

5) If you do not spend all your Bounty Bucks, you can use them at a later date or at any other participating farmers market.

History of the Boston Bounty Bucks program

The Bounty Bucks program was started by The Food Project (link to, with support from the Boston Mayor’s Office, in the summer of 2008.  The Food Project transferred administration of the Bounty Bucks program to the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness in December 2011.  Financial support for the program continues to come from the Boston Mayor’s Office and private funders such as Wholesome Wave Foundation.

The number of markets and SNAP clients participating in the program has increased rapidly over the last five years.  Take a look at our growth since 2008.

Boston Farmers Markets Participating Boston Bounty Bucks

Number of Markets Participating in Bounty BucksTotal SNAP and Bounty Bucks Sales at Participating Markets
2008 7 $2,358
2009 14 $20,094
2010 18 $76,767
2011 19 $120,101
2012-2013* 19 $170,301
2013-2014* 21 $166,540

*Includes winter markets