Residents with low incomes now have greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables
Today, the City of Seattle announced a new partnership with Safeway to make fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable for Seattle residents with limited incomes. Fresh Bucks at Safeway—a healthy food incentive program for SNAP/EBT (food stamps) recipients—launched today at all Safeway locations across the city. Seattle Safeway shoppers can now leverage their purchase of fruits and vegetables into additional healthy produce.
“Some of our neighbors in Seattle have to choose between paying their rent, paying medical bills or buying groceries. Cost should not be a barrier to buying healthy food for our children and families. The Fresh Bucks program makes healthy food more affordable, and by partnering to expand these benefits, Seattle families will get the good produce they deserve,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.
Fresh Bucks at Safeway gives shoppers who buy at least $10 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables using their SNAP/EBT and Safeway Rewards card a Fresh Bucks coupon for $5 off their next purchase of produce. There is no limit as to how often shoppers can qualify for a Fresh Bucks coupon. Fresh Bucks at Safeway will be available at all Safeway stores in Seattle.
“Safeway is committed to meeting the needs of our customers in Seattle,” said Sara Osborne, Safeway Director of Public Affairs. “Fresh Bucks helps customers afford the foods they need to lead healthier lives and we are proud to serve them. We look forward to continuing this program and working with the City of Seattle on this partnership.”
Another aspect of the program is Fresh Bucks Rx. Qualified shoppers can receive Fresh Bucks as a “prescription” from participating health systems and organizations. These fruit and vegetable Fresh Bucks prescriptions can be redeemed at face value for fresh produce at all Seattle Safeway locations with no purchase necessary.
Jeri, a Fresh Bucks recipient who regularly shops at her neighborhood Safeway, looks forward to spending more on fresh fruits and vegetables with Fresh Bucks, “I live on a limited budget and that means I am always looking for ways to stretch my dollar, especially when it comes to buying healthy foods. Fresh Bucks means I can shop for a variety of fresh produce, which also helps improve my diet. My food budget is supported by programs like Fresh Bucks.”
The City of Seattle partnership with Safeway is funded through revenue from the City of Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT). SBT revenue is used in part to make healthy food choices more accessible for low-income communities and expand food access programs like Fresh Bucks.
Fresh Bucks first launched in 2012 and includes strategies to increase healthy food access for families with low-incomes and underserved communities, while also keeping food dollars circulating in our regional economy. Fresh Bucks is also available at farmers markets and neighborhood grocery stores. The Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) administers the Fresh Bucks program in Seattle. To learn more about Fresh Bucks, visit www.freshbuckseattle.org.