Memo for fiscal year 2017, updated 2016-03-30

[Archived] Why is the addition of 0.4 FTE for administering the SNAP/EBT program at the Old Town Farmer’s Market not being funded by the vendor fees? What increase in the vendor fees would be necessary to do so?

The current SNAP/EBT Coordinator is a part-time 20 hour per week USDA grant funded position. The position is currently funded by the grant at a rate of $25 per hour or about $26,000 annually. The 2 year USDA grant is scheduled to expire in September 2016. The SNAP/EBT coordinator is responsible for coordinating and administering the SNAP/EBT program, formerly food stamps, at the Old Town Farmers’ Market as well as the Gleaning (food rescue) Program which redistributes donated fresh, locally grown food (primarily fruits and vegetables) from the Old Town Farmers’ Market every Saturday and transports the food to shelters and food pantries that serve the hungry, homeless and at-risk low-income population in the City. Once the 2 year grant expires in September 2016, the SNAP/EBT Coordinator position will no longer have funding and, therefore, administration and coordination of these programs will no longer be possible without new resources.

The FY 2017 budget request, in the amount of $15,812, will fund a part-time 16 hour per week SNAP/EBT Coordinator position for the remainder of FY 2017 (Oct – Jun). Full year funding for this position would require $21,083 in FY 2018. The reduced hours (20 hours to 16 hours) will result in a reduction in the amount of outreach to the community as well as the need to identify another non-profit entity to assume coordination and administration of the Gleaning (food rescue) Program at the Old Town Farmers Market. The SNAP/EBT Coordinator will be solely responsible for the administration and coordination of the SNAP/EBT Program at the Old Town Farmers Market only.

The vendor fees at the Farmers Market were last changed in FY 2014 from $30 per month for 10 months/year ($300/year) to $45 per month for 12 month/year ($540/year) for permanent vendors and $10/week to $25/week for temporary vendors. Vendors are charged by the space and the standard vendor space is 8’ x 10’. This was the first change in change in vendor fees since 2009 and was part of other significant changes to improve the Old Town Farmers Market. These fees generate approximately $63,000 in revenue per year and are deposited in the City’s General Fund. The intent of this significant change in vendor fees was (1) cover the City’s expenses in operating the Farmers’ Market; and (2) to bring the fees charged at this market more in line with farmers’ markets in surrounding jurisdictions.

In order to fully fund the SNAP/EBT Coordinator position with vendor fees, which would require $21,083 for a full year, the fees for permanent vendors would need to be increased by $192 per year, which would bring the fee up to $732 per year for each permanent vendor, or a 35% increase. Due to the significant increase in fees in FY 2014 of almost 50%, and that an increase in fees of $192 will make the rate higher than most farmers markets in the surrounding jurisdictions, staff does not recommend increasing vendor fees at this time to cover the cost of this position.


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