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 five farm stands around the city. 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, visit freshbucks.org or contact Fresh Bucks Program Coordinator, Angie Wood at angie@freshbucks.org.

How it Works

Participating markets and stands will double the first $10 of SNAP money you spend. You can visit multiple markets each week, or even each day, and receive the match at every one (but only one match at the same market on the same day).

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 (approximate dates given). Click on a market near you to find out more about its dates and times of operation.

Participating Farmers Markets:


City Hall – Tues, 10am-2pm; 4th Ave between James & Cherry


Pioneer Square – Wed, 10am-2pm; Occidental Ave S & S Washington St (6/17-9/30)

Columbia City – Wed, 3pm-7pm; Edmunds St between 37th Ave & the Alley at 36th (5/6-10/14)

Wallingford – Wed, 3:30pm-7pm; Meridian Park, corner of N 50th and Meridian Ave N (5/27-9/30)

High Point Farm Stand - Wed, 4pm-7pm; 32nd Ave SW and SW Juneau St (7/8-9/30)


South Lake Union – Thurs, 10am-2pm; Terry Ave between Republican & Harrison (6/18-10/1)

Lake City – Thurs, 2:30pm-7:30pm; NE 125th and 28th Ave NE

Queen Anne – Thurs, 3pm-7pm; Queen Anne Ave & West Crockett St (6/4-10/15)


Phinney – Fri, 3pm-7pm; 67th and Phinney Ave N (5/29-9/25)

First Hill - Fri, 10am-2pm; Seneca Sst between 9th Ave & Terry Ave (6/16-10/6)

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

New Holly Farm Stand– Fri, 4pm-7pm; 42nd S & S Rockery (6/10-9/25)


Pike Place Market – Fri-Sun, 8am-4pm; Farmers Market (6/19-10/2)

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

Magnolia – Sat, 10am-2pm; W McGraw St at 33rd Ave W (6/6-10/17)

Central District Farm Stand — Sat, 11am-3pm; 124 21st Ave & Yesler (6/20-10/31)

Rainier Beach Farm Stand — Sat, 10am-3pm; 5131 S. Director St. (6/6-10/31)

Pike Place Market — Fri-Sun, 8am-4pm; Farmers Market (6/19-10/2)

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 2015

Many markets throughout the state have EBT matching programs. For a list of markets near you, see the WSFMA Member Market Directory. In the Payment Options dropdown, you can select “SNAP EBT,” and look for “EBT matching is available” in the market information.

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


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 2013 UWCPHN program evaluation, as well as the WSFMA Fresh Bucks coordinator project report:

The 2014 season, running from May to December, saw more big growth in the Fresh Bucks program. Over $100,000 in Fresh Bucks were distributed to EBT shoppers at 16 farmers markets and 5 stands, bringing in more than $245,000 to local farmers.

Fresh Bucks continues as a year-round program in 2015, offered at markets and stands during their scheduled seasonal operation times (scroll up to see year-round and seasonal markets).

2012-2013 Fresh Bucks Pilot and Post-Pilot Impact

Impact at a Glance



Participating markets
Individuals impacted
Total $ to local farmers
Economic impact in local economy
New low-income farmers market shoppers
Most visits by any one shopper
Individuals who said they ate more fruits and vegetables because of Fresh Bucks
Individuals who said Fresh Bucks has made a difference in their families’ diets

Interested in Starting a Program Like Fresh Bucks?

See WSFMA’s toolkit and appendices, created from best practices and on-the-ground experiences from markets all around the state, for market managers, advocates, and board members to use to create their own SNAP incentive programs.

Additionally, WSFMA participated in stakeholder meetings guided by the Cedar River Group in 2013 to develop a fundraising and sustainability strategy for the Seattle Fresh Bucks program and SNAP matching programs statewide. A copy of Cedar River Group’s final sustainability report can be found online here.


Many thanks to Fresh Bucks current funders and sponsors:

Seattle Children's Hospital

City of Seattle - Office of Sustainability & Environment

Pike Place Market Foundation

As well as previous supporters:

JPMorgan Chase Foundation
Seattle Foundation


And to our national collaborative partner:

Wholesome Wave

For more information, contactFresh Bucks Program Coordinator, Angie Wood: angie@freshbucks.org

Washington State
Farmers Market Association

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

Phone: (206) 706-5198

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