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Fruit, vegetable growers have new market opportunity

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) and the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) have announced a new opportunity for Mississippi fruit and vegetable growers.

An informational meeting will be held Feb. 24 at 10:00 a.m. at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum’s Forestry Building in Jackson for all Mississippi fruit and vegetable growers interested in becoming an authorized Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) retailer.

At this meeting, growers will have the opportunity to apply for approval to receive free wireless machines to accept EBT/SNAP transactions (formerly Food Stamp Program benefits) at farmers markets. The MDAC and MDHS will discuss all aspects of this program and answer any questions. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service staff will be available to assist with the application process.

Once approved to become an authorized EBT retailer, each grower will receive a free wireless machine for use when accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Meeting participants who wish to apply for this program should bring the following items to this meeting: driver’s license; Social Security card; and, a voided check for the bank account where EBT/SNAP deposits will be posted. Photocopies of each item will be accepted.

There is no cost to attend the meeting. The deadline to register is Feb. 18. For more information or to obtain a registration form, contact Purvie Green at (601) 359-1168 or purvie@mdac.state.ms.us or visit www.mdac.state.ms.us.

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