DUNCAN, Okla._The Duncan Farmers Market is now catering to a broader audience with some new payment options for its customers.
For about a month, the market has been accepting SNAP and senior citizen tokens. About 30 vendors are a part of the market, offering fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products to customers. Customers using the programs have brought in about $600 for the vendors of the market in just one month.
"I definitely see it as an asset to our market. Our vendors are happy to have them and it brings another part of the community in that maybe wouldn't have been shopping with us before," said Tori Sparks, a member of the Duncan Farmers Market.
Sparks says the process to use SNAP works just like it does inside a grocery store.
"We have a machine that has been given to us by the state. We'll swipe their credit card. It's a special card that comes from the state and we can swipe their card. We have allotted for $5 amounts, so they can come to market and spend $5. Whatever is on their card that they are able to spend at," said Sparks.
The market has been able to give out 26 cards with $50 on each card for the Senior Citizen Assistance program to be spent at the market.
Sparks says the market is more than just selling products, it is also an avenue to share helpful tips.
"A shopper comes to me and maybe they're not interested in purchasing something from me, but maybe they want to know how do you bake this? Or how do you cook the eggplant or something like that, so sharing tips and thoughts about how to handle local produce is the most important thing that we can offer local people," she said.
Sparks says customers can look forward to fall crops starting to show up in the market.
"A lot of greens, possibly tomatoes, squash, things like that are going to come out of your fall gardens. So, our vendors are really excited that they have got some other made in Oklahoma products coming to market," she said.
The market is open twice a week. On Thursday nights, it is in the Orscheln's parking lot from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. On Sundays, it's at Duncan Regional Hospital from noon until 4:00 pm.