By Robyn Kumar
Eating healthy is a challenge for many of us. However, for those who suffer from food hardship, the challenge isn’t one of willpower or planning, but a challenge of affordability. Healthy food usually costs more than processed food and therefore harder to include in a food budget for people with low incomes. The Fresh Bucks program is one solution to help those who struggle to afford healthy food. Fresh Bucks doubles the purchasing power for people with low incomes who use their federal food stamp (SNAP) benefits to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at 31 farmers markets and farm stands and 6 ethnic grocers in Seattle & King County.
It’s easy to use the Fresh Bucks program! At participating farmers markets and farm stands, you swipe your EBT card for whatever amount you would like to spend. You’ll receive EBT tokens to spend with any farmers market vendor selling EBT-eligible foods. In addition to your EBT tokens, you’ll also receive a Fresh Bucks match (up to $10) to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. At participating grocery stores, the amount of EBT dollars you spend on fresh fruits and vegetables is matched with that same amount of Fresh Bucks (up to $10) to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables in another purchase. With the Fresh Bucks program, spending $10 of your EBT benefit gets you $20 worth of fruits and vegetables. It’s a simple and affordable way for you to increase the amount of healthy food you can buy for your family.
If you haven’t tried Fresh Bucks yet, now is the perfect time. You can find a list of participating farmers markets, farm stands and stores at: www.freshbuckseattle.org
To see the Fresh Bucks program in action, come to a FREE community event on Saturday, 9/30, from 11:00-1:00 at Harameyn Halal Grocery (5811 Rainier Ave S in Seattle). There will be prizes, family activities and games that will help you and your family to get healthier by eating more fruits and vegetables! You can learn how to save money on fruits and vegetables with the Fresh Bucks program and get tips for healthy eating. Come and join us for this great event!