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Double Your Food Benefits in Maryland

Double Your Food Benefits in Maryland

There are several programs that will help you double your food benefits in Maryland! These programs include Fresh Checks and Maryland Market Money!

If you rely on food benefits to purchase your groceries, you already know that those benefits never go far enough. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you find ways that you can stretch those benefits, get more food and live healthier.

Maryland Market Money

Maryland Market Money is a statewide dollar-matching program for people who use nutrition benefits at farmers markets, CSAs and farm stands.

What is Maryland Market Money?

Maryland Market Money is a statewide program that will double your food benefits. It’s a dollar matching program, so if you spend $5 then they will give you an extra $5 to purchase healthy food.

The program helps shoppers get more healthy food and it also helps support local farmers by promoting healthy, locally grown food. Everybody wins!

Unlike other double up benefit programs, Maryland Market Money does not limit you to purchasing fruits and vegetables with your doubled benefits. You can use those tokens to purchase any EBT-eligible food at the market, including:

  • Baked goods
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Honey
  • Jams
  • Legumes
  • Meat
  • Pickles
  • Poultry
  • Syrup
  • Vegetables
  • Vegetable plants

Who can use Maryland Market Money?

Anyone who uses SNAP EBT benefits to purchase eligible items at a participating market can use Maryland Market Money to get more food for their purchase.

It does not appear that you have to be a Maryland resident to use this program.

How does Maryland Market Money work?

In order to get your extra dollars from the Maryland Market Money program, you will need to visit the market manager of a participating Farmers Market.

If you are shopping with SNAP EBT benefits, then you will need to visit the market manager before you make a purchase. You’ll need to swipe your EBT card for however much you want to spend. You’ll receive tokens for the amount you spent, which can be used to purchase eligible goods from any participating vendor in the market. You’ll receive an extra set of tokens for the Maryland Market Money program, as well.

If you are shopping with FMNP or eWIC benefits, then you will need to purchase your products with the coupons or vouchers you already have. You’ll take your receipt to the market manager after your purchase to get your Maryland Market Money benefits.

The amount of free food you’re able to receive through this program is usually capped at $10 per household per day, although some retailers may have higher limits.

Where can you use Maryland Market Money?

The following markets, farm stands and CSAs participate in the MMM program:

  • AgriHood Baltimore
  • Alleghany Mountain Fresh (Cumberland)
  • Alleghany Mountain Fresh (Frostburg)
  • Baltimore Farmers Market
  • Baltimore Druid Hill Farmers Market
  • Boonsboro Farmers Market
  • Calvert County Farmers Market at CHMC
  • Calvert County Farmers Market at Dunkirk
  • Catonsville Farmers Market
  • Cheverly Community Market
  • CBMS WIC Pop-Up Farmers Market
  • Clarksville Commons Farmers Market
  • Chestertown Farmers market
  • City of Rockville Farmers Market
  • Flying Plow Farm
  • Garrett Growers Pop-Up Farmers Market
  • Garrett Park Farmers Market
  • Greenbelt Farmers Market
  • Jefferson Farmers Market
  • Kenilworth Farmers Market
  • Lewis Orchards Farm Market
  • La Plata Farmers Market
  • The Capital Market
  • Mountain Fresh Farmers Market
  • North Beach Farmers Market
  • Overlea Farmers Market
  • Pikesville Farmers Market
  • Riverdale Park Farmers Market
  • Scenic View Orchards
  • Smithburg Town Farmers Market
  • St. Michael’s Farmers Market
  • Takoma Park Farmers Market
  • FRESHFARM Downtown Silver Spring Market
  • Washington County Farmers Market
  • VFF Produce Mobile Market
  • Windy Willow Farm

Some of these markets only accept certain payment methods, such as SNAP or FMNP. You will need to contact the market for details about exact locations, hours, what benefits can be used and what the limits are. These details change frequently and we cannot keep up with those updates.

Fresh Checks

Fresh Checks is a program by the Crossroads Farmers Market. This market was the first in Maryland to accept food benefits and the first one in the country to launch a “double dollar” program.

What is Fresh Checks?

Fresh Checks is a dollar-matching program that helps you double the value of your food benefits. Basically, for every dollar you spend, you’ll receive an extra dollar’s worth of free produce.

This is a great way to help stretch your SNAP dollars and get more food!

Who can use Fresh Checks?

You can use Fresh Checks with all sorts of Maryland food benefit programs, including:

  • SNAP / EBT
  • WIC
  • FMNP

Shoppers from Washington DC can also use their DC WIC benefits to double the value of their food benefits.

How does Fresh Checks work?

In order to receive Fresh Checks benefits, you’ll need to go to the Crossroads Tent at the market. If you prefer, you can walk around the market first to decide how much you want to spend that day… but before you spend any money, you will need to visit the Crossroads Tent to get your tokens.

When you arrive at the tent, you’ll need to swipe your EBT card for the amount you want to spend. You’ll receive tokens that you can use to purchase any EBT-eligible item at the market. You’ll also receive an equal amount of Fresh Checks tokens. These tokens can only be used to purchase healthy, locally-grown products.

You can receive up to $50 in Fresh Checks tokens per week. It’s a direct dollar match. That means that if you spend $10, you’ll get $10. If you spend $25, you’ll get $25. If you spend $50, you’ll get $50. Unfortunately, if you spend more than $50, you’ll still only get $50 in free tokens.

What locations accept Fresh Checks?

The Fresh Checks program only works at one location: the Takoma/Langley Crossroads Farmers Market. The market operates seasonally from mid-April through November in Takoma Park.

Don’t forget your EBT discounts!

You can get more than just free produce with your EBT card! We’ve found some truly incredible EBT discounts in Maryland, too!

Summary

Fresh Checks and Maryland Market Money can help you get more food with your food benefits! You just need to make sure that you are shopping at a participating vendor and purchasing eligible food items in order to get those incentives. It’s worth the extra steps to get extra food for yourself and your family!

Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.