In the heart of Rainier Valley you’ll find Zamzam, a small business owner and a dedicated member of the community, who works hard to help her customers afford healthy foods.
“Fruits and vegetables in my neighborhood affect the health of my community positively,” says Zamzam. As the owner of Harameyn Grocery, Zamzam is familiar with some of the challenges her customers face, “I think affordability is the problem, fruits and vegetables can be expensive and Fresh Bucks helps with that. I tell people how great Fresh Bucks is, it really helps a lot of people.”
Harameyn Grocery is one of six ethnic grocers who partner with Fresh Bucks, a program connecting people with healthy food they can afford.
The store started its partnership with Fresh Bucks in 2017 and it has been beneficial for the business. “Fresh Bucks has helped my business a lot, we now see more customers than before.” Zamzam manages her day to day business, while also taking time to introduce customers to Fresh Bucks. Fresh Bucks offers a dollar-for-dollar match on produce when customers make a purchase with SNAP (or food stamp) benefits.
“Healthy eating is very important to me, my children and my customers,” said Zamzam.
Fresh Bucks expanded access to healthy foods through partnerships with local, ethnic grocery stores. Many minority-owned businesses serve Seattle’s immigrant and refugee community while also serving as cultural hubs. Harameyn Grocery, located at Rainier Ave S and S. Juneau St., is open 7 days a week, catering to the Somali community while also serving the neighborhood at large.
Zamzam introduces Mohammed, a regular customer who has been buying fruits and vegetables with Fresh Bucks for the last five months. Mohammed now has better control of his diabetes and attributes his improved health to Fresh Bucks. “If people eat more greens, more fruits and vegetables, they will see the difference. I want to see more of this,” said Mohammed, referring to the Fresh Bucks program.
Zamzam agrees, “To stay healthy and live longer I think you need to nurture your body – this includes healthy food, but also, healthy spaces, likes parks, green spaces and fresh air.”
Fresh Bucks is proud to partner with small business leaders like Zamzam who does so much more than run a successful business. She is a local leader, advocating on behalf of her customers while building a stronger, healthier community.