LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Farmers market vendors could soon be required to accept food stamps as payment as part of their certification in the city of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday 15-0 to instruct city staff to report back on ways the city could use its farmers market permitting process to include a requirement that operators incorporate Electric Benefit Transfer cards as a payment method.
The proposal by council members Nury Martinez and Jose Huizar is aimed at bringing more fresh fruits and vegetables to “food deserts” — areas with no major supermarkets or other plentiful sources of fresh foods.
“It’s important for people to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the local communities. Farmers markets (are) one way we’re doing it throughout the city,” Huizar said.
Farmers market operators should be able to obtain free EBT terminals from the state, and each market would only need to have one of the terminals, representatives of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council told the council’s Entertainment and Facilities Committee earlier this month.
The terminals issue “scrips” that can be used at individual stalls and redeemed later by sellers, according to food policy council representatives.
Huizar encouraged members of the public to give input as city staffers draft the report, which is expected to be made in committee in 30 days.
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