Washington State Farmers Market Association - a profesional association of Farmers Market Managers in Washington State

Fresh Bucks

What is Fresh Bucks?

Fresh Bucks provides Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as “food stamps”) shoppers with extra buying power at all 16 Seattle Farmers markets, and 2 farm stands. The program matches SNAP dollar-for-dollar up to $10 per cardholder per market per day. The project is a collaborative effort by the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, the Washington State Farmers Market Association and Seattle’s farmers markets to expand access to healthy food for low-income shoppers at farmers markets. Not in Seattle? Scroll down for a list of markets by county across Washington State.

For more information, or to find out how you can support Fresh Bucks, contact WSFMA Partnership Coordinator, Sophie Kauffman: freshbucks@wafarmersmarkets.com.

How it Works

From May-December, participating markets will double the first $10 spent by a SNAP cardholder each market day. This means that individuals can use the program as many times per day and per week that there are markets, but not more than once at the same market per day. Fresh Bucks matches for fruit and vegetable purchases only.

Fresh Bucks - Go, Swipe, Double, Shop

  • GO: Find the Fresh Bucks sign at the Market’s Info Tent
  • SWIPE: your SNAP/EBT card and receive matching funds in Fresh Bucks currency
  • DOUBLE: Receive a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10 each market day
  • SHOP: Buy more fruits and vegetables

Once you receive your Fresh Bucks from the Market’s Info Tent, you may visit any vendor who sells fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, or vegetable starts to make your purchase. No change will be given for Fresh Bucks. Fresh Bucks will be available at the following locations as markets open.

Participating Farmers Markets:

M

First Hill (NEW!) - Mon, 10am-2pm; Seneca St between 9th Ave & Terry Ave (6/16-10/6)

T

City Hall – Tues, 10am-2pm; 4th Ave between James & Cherry (6/17-10/7)

W

Pioneer Square – Wed, 10am-2pm; Occidental Ave S & S Washington St (6/18-10/8)

Columbia City – Wed, 3pm-7pm; Edmunds St between 37th Ave & the Alley at 36th (5/7-10/16)

Wallingford – Wed, 3:30pm-7pm; Meridian Park, corner of N 50th and Meridian Ave N (5/28-9/24)

High Point Farm Stand - Wed, 4pm-7pm; 32nd Ave SW and SW Juneau St (7/10-10/8)

Th

South Lake Union – Thurs, 10am-2pm; Terry Ave between Republican & Harrison (6/19-10/9)

Lake City – Thurs, 2:30pm-7:30pm; NE 125th and 28th Ave NE (6/12-9/26)

Queen Anne – Thurs, 3pm-7pm; Queen Anne Ave & West Crockett St (6/5-10/16)

F

Phinney – Fri, 3pm-7pm; 67th and Phinney Ave N (6/6-10/4)

Madrona – Fri, 3pm-7pm; Madrona Grocery Outlet, MLK & E Union St (5/16-9/26)

NewHolly Farm Stand– Fri, 4pm-7pm; 42nd S & S Rockery (7/12-10/10)

Weekend
Markets

Pike Place Market – Fri-Sun, 8am-4pm; Farmers Market (6/20-10/12)

University District – Sat, 9am-2pm; University Way NE & NE 50th St (year round)

Magnolia – Sat, 10am-2pm; W McGraw St at 33rd Ave W (6/7-9/28)

Ballard – Sun, 10am-3pm; Ballard Ave, between Vernon Pl & 22nd Ave (year round)

West Seattle – Sun, 10am-2pm; 4th Ave SW & SW Alaska St (year round)

Capitol Hill Broadway – Sun, 11am-3pm; Broadway Ave E & E Pine St (year round)

 

Other Markets with Incentive Programs in 2014

Click on the market links below to find out more about SNAP-matching programs in your area. All programs are dependent on generous funding from a variety of sponsors, and may not run for the full market season. Contact your local market before making your visit to make sure the program is running:

County

Market

Clark

Camas – Wed, 3pm-7pm (6/4-10/1)

Salmon Creek – Thurs, 3pm-7pm (7/20-9/25); and Tues, 11am-3pm (7/8-9/30)

Vancouver – Sat, 9am-3pm, Sun, 10am-3pm (3/15-10/26)

Jefferson

Chimacum – Sun, 10am-3pm (6/1-10/26)

Pt. Townsend (Tyler Street) – Sat, 9am-2pm (4/5-12/27)

Pt. Townsend (Polk Street) – Wed, 2pm-6pm (7/3-9/17)

King

Shoreline – Sat, 10am-3pm (6/14-10/4)

Vashon Farmers Market – Sat, 10am - 2 pm (4/5/-12/20)

Kitsap Bremerton – (Evergreen Park) Thurs, 4pm-7pm (5/1-1016)

Bremerton – (Ferry Terminal) Sun, 10:30am-2:30pm (5/4-10/12)

Pierce Proctor – Sat, 9am-2pm (3/29-12/20) PROGRAM COMING SOON

Skagit

Anacortes – Sat, 9am-2pm

Bow Little – Thurs, 1pm-6pm

Mt. Vernon – Sat, 9am-1pm

Sedro Woolley – Wed, 3pm-7pm


Skamania StevensonSat, 10am-1pm (6/21 – 10/11) PROGRAM COMING SOON

Spokane

Cheney – Tues, 2pm-7pm (6/10-9/23)

Deer Park – Thurs, 2pm-5pm (7/3-10/8)

Emerson-Garfield
– Fri, 3pm-7pm (6/6-10/17)

Northeast – Sat, 11am-3pm (7/12-9/27)

South Perry – Thurs, 3pm-7pm (5/8-10/30)

Spokane – Sat, 8am-1pm (5/10-10/25); Wed, 8am-1pm (6/11-10/29)

West Central Marketplace – Tues, 3pm-7pm (6/10-10/14)


Whatcom

Bellingham – Sat, 10am-3pm (4/5-12/27)



Why Fresh Bucks?

Breaking down food barriers while building a healthy economy

Cost is often cited as a key barrier to eating recommended quantities of fruits and vegetables. Fresh Bucks addresses the related issues of hunger and obesity by promoting healthy choices while reducing food insecurity:

  • Giving SNAP shoppers a bonus for using their benefits promotes shopping at farmers markets.
  • Fresh Bucks can only be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, with dollars going directly to local farmers.
  • Consuming the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Reducing the risk of disease decreases healthcare costs, increases productivity, and gives youth a healthy start!
  • These positive outcomes bring more SNAP users to the markets, generating economic stimulus in the local community.

The USDA estimates that every dollar of SNAP food stamp benefits results in $1.79 in economic stimulus.

 

The Story Behind Fresh Bucks

History

The City of Seattle, in partnership with the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance (NFMA), and with funding from JPMorgan Chase and The Seattle Foundations, launched a pilot Fresh Bucks Program in 2012 at seven Seattle farmers markets. The pilot was successful, providing increased purchasing power to 1500 low-income shoppers, demonstrating an 86% increase in SNAP transactions at participating markets, and increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. This initial success, combined with enthusiastic support from shoppers and the community, catalyzed an expansion of the program in 2013.

Clark County Public Health and Catholic Charities of Spokane both sponsored pilots at farmers markets in their communities that demonstrated similar outcomes. Click below for pilot evaluation reports:

Building upon the success of these pilots and other incentive programs around the country—the City of Seattle and WSFMA are working to develop the foundation for a sustaining program that connects a broad spectrum of partners across Washington State.

With continued funding from the City of Seattle, JPMorgan Chase, and the Seattle Foundation, Fresh Bucks ran a longer season in 2013, expanding from a two-month to a four-month program from July through October. The 2013 Fresh Bucks season operated at 15 Seattle farmers markets, represented by four different farmers market organizations, as well as two P-Patch Market Garden farm stands. High demand and availability of funding resulted in a two-month expansion that allowed the program to continue at four year-round markets during November and December 2013.

Distributing over $60,000 in Fresh Bucks during the planned July-October season in 2013, the program brought in a total of $151,000 in combined SNAP benefits and Fresh Bucks currency for local farmers.

The City of Seattle contracted with the University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition (UWCPHN) during the 2013 Fresh Bucks season to conduct data analysis and program evaluation for all Fresh Bucks locations. Click below for the UWCPHN program evaluation, as well as the WSFMA Fresh Bucks coordinator project report:

2012-2013 Fresh Bucks Pilot and Post-Pilot Impact

Impact at a Glance

2012

2013

Participating markets
7
17
Individuals impacted
1,500
2,600
Total $ to local farmers
$70,000
$151,000
Economic impact in local economy
$125,300
$270,290
New low-income farmers market shoppers
905
1144
Most visits by any one shopper
unavailable
72
Individuals who said they ate more fruits and vegetables because of Fresh Bucks
85%
90%
Individuals who said Fresh Bucks has made a difference in their families’ diets
81%
94%

Interested in Starting a Program Like Fresh Bucks?

During the 2013 season, WSFMA Fresh Bucks Coordinator, Sophie Kauffman, worked with markets all around the state to gather best practices and a knowledge bank, resulting in a toolkit for market managers, advocates, and board members to use for the creation of their own SNAP incentive programs. The toolkit is available on the WSFMA website here and the appendices can be found here. This toolkit will undergo revision during the 2014 season, with a second edition available in early 2015.

Support

Many thanks to founding funders and organizations who provided funding for Fresh Bucks in 2014:

City of Seattle - Office of Sustainability & Environment
JPMorgan Chase Foundation
   
Seattle Foundation
   
Pike Place Market Foundation
   

And to our national collaborative partner:

Wholesome Wave

For more information, contact Sophie Kauffman, Partnership Coordinator: freshbucks@wafarmersmarkets.com



Washington State
Farmers Market Association

WSFMA office location and mailing address:
93 Pike Street, Suite 316
Seattle, WA 98101

Phone: (206) 706-5198
info@wafarmersmarkets.com

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