The Fresh Bucks program, administered by the Office of Sustainability and Environment, has released its 2021 Impact Brief.
Fresh Bucks served as a critical resource during the ongoing pandemic, serving 12,100 Seattle households with $5.6 million in fruit and vegetable benefits.
“Every family deserves access to local, healthy, culturally-relevant foods. That’s why my administration is committed to addressing food insecurity and making it as easy as possible for our most vulnerable residents to access fresh fruits and vegetables. Programs like Fresh Bucks mean real, tangible support for families through partnerships with neighborhood grocery stores and farmers markets. We’re using community feedback to grow and evolve this program — helping more neighbors find fresh and healthy food by working together with community partners.”Mayor Bruce Harrell, City of Seattle
Fresh Bucks prioritized serving BIPOC communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and food insecurity and transitioned to a new benefit delivery model to help ensure participating households had access to healthy and affordable food.
“During another exceptionally challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fresh Bucks has been there to help Seattle residents, especially our most vulnerable residents including people with low-incomes, communities of color, and immigrant and refugee communities, stretch their grocery dollars and more easily access healthy and culturally relevant food. I want to share a tremendous thank you to all the Fresh Bucks retail and community partners and to Mayor Bruce Harrell and City Council. Together, we were able to provide $2 million more in benefits than 2020, and I look forward to seeing the program continue to grow in the coming years.”Jessyn Farrell, Director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment
Fresh Bucks partners with 38 retail partners and 19 local organizations who help implement the program and reach and enroll communities most impacted by food insecurity.
Fresh Bucks also launched a brand-new electronic benefit system, replacing the use of paper vouchers and creating a more equitable shopping experience for Fresh Bucks customers by reducing the stigma customers may experience using paper vouchers at checkout.
With e-benefits, eligible and enrolled participants receive $40 in benefits in their Fresh Bucks account each month. Customers can spend their benefits on fruits and vegetables using their Fresh Bucks Card or app at participating farmers markets, farm stands, and grocery stores, including six BIPOC-owned grocers.
Fresh Bucks is funded by the City of Seattle general fund and the Sweetened Beverage Tax Fund.
To learn more about how Fresh Bucks and its partners met the needs of program participants last year, see the 2021 Fresh Bucks Impact Brief.
For general information on the program, please visit SeattleFreshBucks.org or call 206-684-2489.