The City of Seattle continues to strengthen equal access to local and healthy foods with the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance (NFMA) Fresh Bucks pilot program. Now the program 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. Results include:
- Almost 800 new EBT shoppers at Seattle area markets have bought more produce direct result of Fresh Bucks.
- 81% of EBT shoppers purchased more fruits and vegetables as a result of Fresh Bucks.
- 74% purchased a greater variety of produce than they normally would.
- 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 seven local farmers markets.
The additional funding to extend 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.