How Hard Does it Have to Be?

We just wanted to share this list of all the hoops we would need to jump through to allow the two new mothers who have "graduated" from the Fresh Rx program to continue receiving Fair Shares food with their SNAP benefits. We know our time isn't worth a dime, but sheesh, isn't it worth a penny? Until we figure out how to simplify this and get it set up, if anyone wants to help us pay their way, we've created a donation button in the store in a couple of categories for Fresh Rx Mamas.

From the USDA:

·         Please provide a copy of the Non-profit IRS Determination Letter for 501C3 or State Corporations document verifying Non-profit status if not a 501C3

Vehicle/ Driver Information:
•             Vehicle registrations,
•             Vehicle insurance, and
•             Titles or leases for all vehicles.
•             Drivers Licenses for all drivers and owners
Business Documents and Tax Filings:
•             State mobile vender license,
•             Food licenses, and
•             Vendor license or any other similar license to do business.
•             Business tax return for the most recent filing year for all owners/ officers/ LLC members.
•             Personal tax return for the most recent filing year for all owners/ officers/ LLC members.
•             Employee Records for all employees: W-2 or 1099 for all employees.
Operational Information:
•             Delivery Route Information (Letter attached).
•             Delivery Route Service Area Map and schedule for deliveries.  Print out a map and circle the area you will be servicing.  See Sample attached
•             Copy of Articles of Corporation and Annual Corporation Report filed with the State.
•             A letter from your bank/financial institution listing the authorized signer on the business bank account.
•             Copies of warehouse or food storage location lease or deed.
Food Supply and Purchases:
•             Copies of invoices from food suppliers for at least 60 calendar days and up to 90 calendar days. The invoices must be dated before the letter was received.
•             Copies of sales receipts for at least one week (seven days) and up to one month (30 days). The sales receipts need to be prior to the date the letter was received. The sales receipts must show what transactions are considered SNAP eligible food and which purchase transactions are not considered SNAP eligible food.
•             Retailer Markup Summary for your ten most commonly sold items (see sample attached).
•             Signed Sworn Statement of Compliance, Completeness and Accuracy (Attached).
•             Lastly, around the time of reauthorization you will be contacted for a store visit to determine your firm’s eligibility.  The visit will require at least one of your delivery vehicles to be present at the time.  We thank you in advance for your cooperation..

If we do not receive ALL documents, as listed above, within [30] days, we will suspend work on your application.  A new application may be required.

Is it any wonder why the poor remain poor? Anyone who thinks that people are just milking the system has never tried to navigate the system--it ain't easy being poor. It's not even easy to help the poor...

scapes.gif What are garlic scapes and how do I use them? Garlic scapes are the shoot and the seed pod of the hard neck garlic plant. If left on the plant, the seed pod would grow into a bulb much like the root bulb of garlic. This is undesireable because it competes with the nutrients and the bulb of garlic will...Read more


Del Carmen has been a vendor for Fair Shares since 2009. We have developed a quality relationship based on trust. Our communications have been seamless. In addition, Fair Shares and its members have been great marketers for our products.  As a (very) small business, we are unable to advertise or market our products, so we have to rely on word of mouth.  Many of our customers are, were, or know Fair Shares members who have recommended our products.

Del Carmen has also benefitted from valuable ideas for use of existing products and suggestions in product development from the Fair Shares community.  I go to them for feedback, knowing I will get good, reliable and useful information.

We thank you, Fair Shares, for your support and commitment to del Carmen. We wish you much continued success.  After all, your success also helps the success of del Carmen and other local vendors and farmers.

Estie Cruz-Curoe, del Carmen Beans, St. Louis, MO