Starting Saturday July 21st, QUEST and debit cards will be accepted at the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers’ Market through a new token program. Eau Claire County 4-H volunteers will staff a booth for customers to purchase wooden tokens every Saturday from 9 -12:30 PM in July, August, and September. Tokens can only be purchased while this booth is open, but can be used anytime at the Downtown Farmers’ Market.
This program was started by the Hunger Prevention Coalition of Eau Claire County to increase access to the Farmers’ Market for individuals using QUEST cards (also known as Food Share or formerly food stamps). With the token program, 18% of Eau Claire County residents (16,472 Food Share participants) can access fresh, local healthy food for their families. It also puts federal dollars directly back into the local community. There is an additional benefit for debit card users. Since there is not an ATM at the market, anyone that finds themselves without cash can use their debit card to purchase tokens for a $1 charge. This is less than any surcharge put on by ATMs outside of their bank networks and also helps the program be sustainable for future years.
This program was made possible through the support from The Eau Claire Community Foundation and the hard work of Deidra Barrickman, the Downtown Farmers’ Market Manager; The Hunger Prevention Coalition of Eau Claire County and Eau Claire County UW-Extension.