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City of Seattle

August 23, 2:02 PM click here to comment > 4

Low-income residents get extra funds for fresh produce through “Fresh Bucks” program

Yesterday our Office of Sustainability & Environment announced our new Fresh Bucks pilot program to strengthen equal access to local and healthy foods. The program, a partnership with the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance (NFMA), will double the value of purchases made with SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards at select Farmers Markets starting Wednesday, August 1, 2012, through Monday, October 1, 2012.  All EBT cardholders will 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:

  • Columbia City (Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
  • Lake City (Thursdays, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
  • Phinney (Fridays, 3:00 am -7:00 p.m.
  • University District (Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
  • Magnolia (Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
  • Broadway (Sundays, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
  • West Seattle (Sundays, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

Funding for the Fresh Bucks pilot program is provided by JP Morgan Chase, the Seattle Foundation, and the WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

“Everyone in Seattle deserves access to healthy, fresh, affordable food,” said Seattle Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith. “Fresh Bucks increases the purchasing power of low-income Seattle residents while introducing new customers to the small and mid-size farmers who sell at our farmers markets.”

The cost of fruits and vegetables has been identified as a barrier to consuming recommended amounts of healthy food for low-income communities.  The Fresh Bucks program addresses this barrier as well as generates economic stimulus by keeping federal nutrition benefit funds within local and regional communities.  A study by Moody’s Economy showed that an increase of SNAP/Food Stamp benefits by $1 creates a “ripple effect through the economy,” resulting in $1.73 in economic stimulus.

“Seattle residents have been able use their EBT at Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance markets since 1995,” said Chris Curtis, executive director of the NFMA. “Now, with the Fresh Bucks bonus program, people have a greater opportunity and incentive to use their benefits to purchase healthy produce.”

Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance

Comments

Comment from erin sneider
Time August 23, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Great program! Thanks to the Mayor and Chase for making this happen.

Comment from Ann Schiffer
Time August 31, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Great, I may qualify but this article does not tell me how I find out if I qualify? I’m a full time employed but low-income person whose home mortgage is 3/4 of my take home. How do I get good food?

Comment from Ramata Diebate
Time September 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Yay Got Green! We made it happen.

p.s. All my jogging saved me in this photo opp as I am wearing white but still my thies are shapely 😉

Pingback from Fresh Bucks program extended through end of the year | Seattle, WA 98122
Time November 1, 2012 at 12:00 am

[…] we announced that the Fresh Bucks program, which helps low-income residents get extra funds for fresh produce, has been extended […]