Currency Policies

Portland Farmers Market uses several alternative currency programs at each of its markets. These programs require additional staff and detailed attention, but we believe they are essential to create greater market access and increase sales for market vendors.

Please familiarize yourself with the programs below and be sure to educate your staff as well.

Token Program

Shoppers can use their debit, credit, or Oregon Trail Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards at the PFM information booth in exchange for market money (wooden tokens). The tokens come in two denominations: $1 and $5. They each serve different purposes.

Green Tokens (Credit and Debit)

Customers can purchase $5 tokens with credit and debit cards at the market information booth.

There are no restrictions on what can be bought with the $5 token. They should be treated just like a $5 bill — give cash change.

Due to the cost the Market incurs to operate this program, we charge a $4 service fee to customers using debit and credit cards.

Red Tokens (Oregon Trail/EBT)

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) participants receive their benefits electronically.

SNAP participants use a card called the Oregon Trail card, which acts like a debit card.

GOOD FOR: most food items, including fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, breads, cheeses and other dairy products, nuts, eggs and plants intended for growing food.

NOT GOOD FOR: non-food items (such as candles and non-edible tinctures), foods that are hot at the point of sale, alcoholic beverages and flowers.). It is illegal to exchange SNAP benefits for these products.

No change can be given back to the SNAP participant. The participant can add product to bring the purchase up to the dollar amount.

Red Tokens Cannot Be Given As Change For Any Reason

Any misuse of the $1 tokens compromises our eligibility to accept the Oregon Trail EBT card. We greatly value the opportunity to offer the Oregon Trail EBT service to our customers, and we have been through a rigorous application process to get our permit. Please help us maintain our eligibility by following these guidelines. Thank you!

We would like to remind you of a couple of important aspects of the EBT program for SNAP participants, and how it operates at the market:

Customers can bring any unused $1 tokens back to the information booth to be refunded back to their EBT accounts.
Our vendors, by law, may not give cash change for purchases with $1 EBT tokens. When possible, vendors are encouraged to modify purchases so that they total a whole dollar value. Should a whole dollar not be reached, a receipt from the vendor displaying the purchase price can be brought back to the information booth for refund into the customer’s EBT account.

$2 Double Up Food Bucks

Our King, Kenton, Lents International, Shemanski Park and PSU markets, as well as almost 50 others in the state, participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program. This is a program that “matches” SNAP benefits spent at participating farmers markets. For every $2 of SNAP benefits a shopper chooses to spend, they will receive up to $20 in DUFB.

DUFB can only be spent on fresh, dried, or frozen whole or cut fruits and vegetables without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt. This includes mushrooms, herbs, and dried beans.

No change may be given for food bucks. Food bucks may only be redeemed at participating markets.

Reimbursement

Vendors turn in tokens to the PFM information booth at all markets.

Please have tokens divided by $1 EBT, $5 and $2 DUFB and have them counted before arriving at the information booth. A receipt for your records will be provided.
The PFM office will recount all tokens and will send a note if there are any discrepancies.
PFM will reimburse vendors by check twice a month. Questions regarding token reimbursement should be directed to the PFM office.
Please note: tokens may NOT be used to pay stall fees. We will withhold reimbursement checks if there are any outstanding invoices until payment is received.

Market Purchase Vouchers

PFM sponsors programs and other special events to educate our customers, generate media coverage, and help vendors increase sales.

Market staff will use purchase vouchers to acquire vendor products for these programs and events.

Market purchase vouchers are reimbursed twice per month along with the token redemptions.

Farm Direct Nutrition Program

The Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program (FDNP) is a state-administered federal nutrition program.

FDNP funds go to low-income, nutritionally at-risk pregnant women and young children enrolled in the Women Infants & Children (WIC) program and to eligible low-income seniors and people with disabilities. These federal funds are issued on green checks in specific denominations, which may differ from year to year. They are used to purchase locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables directly from authorized farmers at farm stands and farmers markets. This program provides funds for tens of thousands of clients and provides over a million dollars directly to farmers who participate.

To become an FDNP authorized farmer, you must own, lease, rent or sharecrop land to grow, cultivate or harvest crops on that land AND grow fresh fruit, vegetables or cut herbs in Oregon or a bordering county to sell at your farm stand or at a farmers market.

All farmers must fill out an application and sign an agreement with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Department of Human Services.

For an FDNP application packet, please contact the ODA at 503-872-6600.

Please honor all forms of market currency. If you will not be at the market yourself, inform your employees about these programs and request that they graciously accept the coupons, tokens, and vouchers.