The Berea College Farm Store No Longer Accepting EBT SNAP Cards: What Is Next?

By Ülvi Gitaliyev & Lily Barnette

The Berea College Farm Store is a popular destination for both students and other members of the Berea community for meats, vegetables, pastries, and more. Though, On February 2nd, without warning, the Farm Store stopped accepting EBT SNAP Cards as a payment option, leading to many surprised customers the day of.

EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer and it allows SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) participants to pay for food using their SNAP benefits. SNAP is commonly known as “food stamps,” which was the previous title of the program. To learn more about EBT, click here, and SNAP, click here.

Very soon after, this became a major topic of discussion in Berea with many people confused and disappointed with the lack of communication from the side of Berea College. The Berea Torch called the Farm Store to find an answer but was told to instead contact Jodi Whitaker, the Media Relations Manager for Berea College. At the time of writing, she has not replied to our attempts at communication.

The next day on February 3rd, Scott Steele, Berea College Provost, sent an email to the entire body of students, faculty, and staff at the college, acknowledging that the Farm Store had “temporarily paused SNAP and EBT benefits at the Farm Store while we update procedures and staff training.” Reportedly, the reason for the pause was that “Following an internal review, the Berea College Farm Store recently determined that it was not in compliance with SNAP.” The Berea Torch asked Scott Steele for further details, but no response has been given yet. So far, no date has been set on when customers will have access to the benefits again.

Other Berea residents began to comment on how previously, the Berea College Farm Store would allow people to buy ready-to-go and hot meals using EBT SNAP Cards, which was a violation of the program. Most people hope that the issues will be resolved soon and that EBT SNAP Cards will return as a payment option.

UPDATE: According to an email from Berea College Provost Scott Steele, EBT SNAP benefits will again be accepted on February 14th for everyone.

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