PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is offering free technology to farmers markets to help low-income residents buy and eat healthful and locally-grown foods.

Through a federal stimulus grant, 145 wireless payment card readers are being made available.

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Mike Pechart, with the agriculture department, said more farm stand owners will now be able to accept state and federal food access cards.

“Folks can bring those benefits to farm markets, and those that have these wireless terminals and readers, they can use their SNAP cards to get fresh fruits and vegetables,” Pechart said.

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And farmers also will be able to take credit and debit cards, though those transactions will be charged the standard bank fee.

Pechart says the last time these machines were offered for free — in a small pilot program seven years ago — they went quickly.

Download the application here.

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Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060