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Fresh Bucks SNAP Incentives Available Year Round

Fresh Bucks

The Fresh Bucks incentive program provides a dollar for dollar match (in $2 increments) when you use your EBT/SNAP benefits at any of our Farmers Markets. This program is available at Seattle Farmers Markets year-round, and as of Nov 4, 2017, there is NO LIMIT on the amount that can be matched!

How it works: When you swipe your EBT (SNAP) card at the farmers market Manager booth, you will be given a free match (in $2 increments) in Fresh Bucks equal to the amount of EBT you redeem per market day. Your Fresh Bucks can then be used to purchase fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen or dried) at the farmers markets.  

Program History: We have been self-funding short term EBT bonuses since 2008. During the 2012 farmers market season, the City of Seattle's Office of Sustainability & Environment partnered with the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance to pilot a larger-scale version of our incentive program. We started this bonus program initially to raise awareness about our farmers markets' EBT program, and to give a small bonus to our EBT shoppers. From that early effort, we've created a replicable model that is now offered in many locations in WA state. We provided consultation and support for the State of Washington to apply for a Food Insecurities and Nutrition Incentive grant through the USDA and our state received one of the highest grant awards because of the groundwork that had been laid and the data that had been collected.

Pictured above: Wooden EBT Tokens (center) and Fresh Bucks vouchers (right) 


It's easy to use your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT/SNAP/Basic Food) card to buy fresh, healthy food at the Farmers Markets. At the market information booth, the market staff will swipe your EBT card for the amount you request (plus you can get the Fresh Bucks match described above!). You will then be given wooden market tokens to buy anything except cut flowers, alcohol, and ready to eat foods. The tokens never expire and can be used at all 7 of our farmers markets at any time. For information on applying for EBT benefits call 1.877.501.2233 or click here.

WIC  and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)

SFMNPWIC FMNP checks are specifically for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables at Farmers Markets. You can use your WIC FMNP checks at any of our farmers markets to buy fresh fruits and vegetables (note that no cash change is given - you have to spend the entire amount of the check).  Look for farm booths with the posted WIC signage. For more information about WIC FMNP, please call 1-800-841-1410 or click here

To be eligible for Senior FMNP, you must be 60 or older and have an annual income below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level.  You can use your Senior FMNP coupons at any of our Farmers Markets to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. (No change is given.)  Applications are available each spring from the Seattle/King County Office of Aging and Disability Services and are due by early to mid May (see links for details). For more information, please call Senior Information and Services at 206-448-3110 or click here.  You can also call Community Living Connections at 206-962-8467 or 1-844-348-5464 or chick here.

WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs are sponsored by the US Dept of Agriculture; the WA State Dept of Health, Community Wellness and Prevention; and the WA State Dept of Social and Health Services, Aging and Disability Services Administration. 

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program

Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions are an emerging model for improving nutrition and increasing consumption of healthy foods among patients. In 2015, the Washington State Department of Health and more than 60 partners were awarded a competitive FINI grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the USDA. With support from the FINI grant, a growing network of health care providers, community health workers, and community nutritionists are able to “prescribe” fruits and vegetables to SNAP participants. The prescription is a printed voucher that patients use like cash to buy fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets and grocery stores in Washington. In many program sites, participants also receive nutrition education and social support through group classes that teach healthy cooking methods.

Helping Harvest Voucher Program

"Helping Harvest Vouchers" are Farm Bucks given specifically to food bank clients and other resource-challenged people to spend at the farmers markets to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. 

How it works:  Food banks and other organizations can purchase Farm Bucks from the NFM to give out to their clients, enabling their clients to shop at any NFM farmers market - giving them direct access to fresh, local farm produce.  

If your service organization, charity or food bank is interested in providing Farm Bucks to your communities or clients, we would be glad to work with you.  The process and logistics for making it happen are very simple; the main thing is simply to determine your budget and how many vouchers you would like to distribute (for example, you may wish to give 100 clients each $10 worth of Farm Bucks on the first of each month).  Please contact us for more information.