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Fresh Bucks opens application process to select new retail partners

The City of Seattle’s Fresh Bucks voucher program is expanding its network of retail partners. Fresh Bucks is a healthy food access program which provides eligible and enrolled households with $40 a month to purchase fruits and vegetables from participating farmers markets, farm stands, and stores. The program currently serves close to 12,000 households and is expanding its retail network to provide Fresh Bucks customers with more fresh produce access points as well as additional locations to shop for culturally specific produce. Interested supermarkets, large and small grocery stores, culturally specific grocers, and/or farm stands are encouraged to apply through one of the two selection processes explained below. Fresh Bucks is accepting applications from supermarkets and grocery stores through April 28 and from small food retailers through May 14

Fresh Bucks Retail Expansion 

The City is launching two separate application processes to select new retailers, one for supermarkets, grocery store chains, and franchise stores, and the other for small food retailers. Results from a 2020 survey of Fresh Bucks customers and national data on SNAP usage suggest that supermarkets and grocery stores are important access points for Fresh Bucks-eligible customers. The 2020 survey and feedback from Fresh Bucks community partners also indicated that small food retailers, particularly those that offer culturally specific foods and/or are located in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce, are also priorities for customers.  

In addition to meeting customer preferences, Fresh Bucks seeks new retail partners that create environments which are welcoming to all cultures, races, economic backgrounds, and languages, and that consistently provide high-quality produce in neighborhoods where priority populations live and work. Fresh Bucks aims to eliminate racial disparities in access to healthy foods for low-income Latino, Black/African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities and immigrants and refugees, particularly those with language barriers, through focused enrollment into the Fresh Bucks vouchers program.​​ In 2020, 70% of Fresh Bucks vouchers enrollees were from these priority populations. 

Two Selection Processes 

The deadlines for the two application processes are below, and more information is available on the Fresh Bucks website.  

  • Supermarkets and Grocery Stores:  
    • Applications due Wednesday, April 28 by 11:59 p.mClick here to learn more about eligibility and scoring criteria, and to access the application.  
    • Register here to learn more about this opportunity and ask any questions at a virtual information session on April 14 at 3:00 p.m.