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City of Seattle

October 31, 3:06 PM click here to comment > 0

Fresh Bucks program extended through end of the year

Today we announced that the Fresh Bucks program, which helps low-income residents get extra funds for fresh produce, has been extended through December 31, 2012.

Fresh Bucks stretches the value of purchases made with SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards at select farmers markets. All EBT cardholders receive $10 in Fresh Bucks per day for the purchase of fruits and vegetables when they purchase a minimum of $10 with their EBT card. The following farmer’s markets are participating in the program through the end of the year:

  • University District (Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., open year-round)
  • Broadway (Sundays, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., open through December 23, 2012)
  • West Seattle (Sundays, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., open year-round)

To date, over $30,000 in Fresh Bucks have been distributed.  These dollars are making a profound difference in the ability of low-income shoppers in Seattle to access healthy foods. Almost 800 new EBT shoppers at Seattle area markets have gone home with more produce in their shopping bags as a direct result of Fresh Bucks.

A survey of market EBT shoppers found that 81% purchased more fruits and vegetables as a result of Fresh Bucks and 74% purchased a greater variety of produce at the market than they normally would. In addition, 72% of shoppers surveyed said Fresh Bucks made a difference in their families’ diets.

The program began August 1st, and offered the bonus to shoppers at Lake City Farmers Market, Columbia City Farmers Market, Phinney Farmers Market, and Magnolia Farmers Market as well.

“A large number of our market shoppers tell us that Fresh Bucks are what brought them to the market,” said Chris Curtis, executive director of the NFMA. “We’re proud to be making a real, tangible difference in the health of Seattle families.”

The additional funding for the extension of the Fresh Bucks pilot program is provided by JP Morgan Chase, the Seattle Foundation, and the Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Posted by: April Thomas