WXXI AM News

food stamps

Rochester Public Market

Governor Cuomo announced a plan Friday to keep food stamps working at farmers markets across the state through the end of the season.

It’s the latest temporary measure in a summer that began with the only company that makes mobile software to convert electronic food stamps to physical currency abruptly announcing it was going out of business.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

The company behind the software that turns SNAP benefits into the tokens used at the Rochester Public Market has announced that it’s going out of business.

Novo Dia contacted the Farmers Market Federation of New York last week, alerting the organization that it would cease operations on July 31, and leaving markets across the state scrambling to find a replacement.

The company’s software is essential because there is no substitute, said Margaret O’Neill, who directs programs at the Rochester Public Market and sits on the board of the farmers market federation.

President Trump wants to reduce funding for food stamp programs and change the way the SNAP program works. Critics have called it the "Blue Apron of food stamps," arguing that people in poverty deserve choice, and can't always accommodate specific food preparation needs. The White House, and Republicans in Congress like Tom Reed, point to the need to crack down on fraud and waste.

We explore his proposal and hear from people in the food access movement. Our guests: