Low-income Residents Get a Healthy Boost through City of Seattle “Fresh Bucks” Program
In honor of National Farmers Markets Week, we wanted to help spread the word about an exciting recent announcement from the City of Seattle and the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance: a “Fresh Bucks” Program pilot!
I had the pleasure of attending one of the “Our City, Our Food, Our Future” community meetings organized by the City this past spring and one of the key themes that emerged from that discussion was the high cost of fresh, local produce. This means that many lower-income community members can’t afford as much healthy foods as they would like—and our local farmers are missing out on some potential consumers. Enter the “Fresh Bucks” Program, which provides incentives to use SNAP benefits (food stamps) at our local farmers markets. Below is the text from the announcement:
“The City of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment is strengthening equal access to local and healthy foods with the Fresh Bucks pilot program. 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 markets are participating in the program:
- Columbia City (Wednesdays, 3–7 p.m.)
- Lake City (Thursdays, 3–7 p.m.)
- Phinney (Fridays, 3–7 p.m.
- University District (Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.)
- Magnolia (Saturdays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.)
- Broadway (Sundays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.)
- West Seattle (Sundays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.)
We are excited for this step toward making sure everyone has enough nutritious food on the table. Happy Farmers Market Week!