We can all use a refresher course now and then on how some important federal programs started out. When "government" (which, the last time we checked, is of us, by us, and for us) is reviled by so many, it can be very surprising to learn that some programs getting a bad rap today arose from national security and economic development concerns. For example, the National School Lunch Program resulted from the realization during World War II that military readiness was being impacted by malnutrition.
Similarly, in Farming Magazine (the Journal of Northeast Agriculture), we learn from this article on how SNAP helps local farmers that the Food Stamp program (now called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) had its origins even earlier in the 1930s, in an effort to connect hungry city folks, who could not afford to buy food, with farmers with good food to sell. The article not only highlights that historic beginning, but also addresses ways of overcoming barriers to accepting SNAP benefits for some modern-day farmers markets.
Stamps or coupons are no longer used. The benefits are delivered on an electronic card (the Lone Star card, in Texas), which many FM vendors are not equipped to handle. That's one barrier. Another can be the price of the food. Read the article to find out some of the solutions that are available.