FAQ 2017-08-24T17:29:58+00:00

FAQ

What is Fresh Bucks?

Fresh Bucks is a healthy food incentive program available at 31 farmers markets and farm stands and 6 grocery stores with specialty products in Seattle and King County. Fresh Bucks provides a dollar-for-dollar match on EBT (SNAP/Basic Food/Food Stamps) purchases (up to $10 per day) to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables, edible plant starts and mushrooms at participating locations.

Who is eligible for Fresh Bucks?

Any EBT (SNAP/Basic Food/Food Stamps) cardholder with $2 or more dollars on their EBT card is eligible to match those dollars at a participating farmers market, farm stand or grocery store. Fresh Bucks does not currently support TANF, WIC, cash benefits, or any other program besides SNAP/Basic Food.

What if I don’t have EBT/SNAP?

See if you qualify for food benefits online via Washington Connection.

How do I get Fresh Bucks?

Any EBT (SNAP/Basic Food/Food Stamps) cardholder with $2 or more in EBT dollars on their card can benefit from the Fresh Bucks program.

At participating farmers markets and farm stands, EBT cardholders swipe their card for the amount of EBT they wish to spend that day. Market staff will then give them that quantity of EBT tokens and matching Fresh Bucks currency ($2-for-$2 up to $10 in Fresh Bucks). For example, an EBT cardholder could swipe their EBT card for $6 EBT and receive $6 in EBT tokens and $6 in matching Fresh Bucks. EBT tokens can be used with any vendor selling EBT eligible items. Fresh Bucks currency can be used on produce items (fruit, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms or plant starts).

At participating grocery stores, customers purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables with their EBT card get matching Fresh Bucks Retail coupons equal in value to the fresh produce purchase ($2-for-$2 up to $10 in Fresh Bucks). For example, the customer purchases $6 of fresh fruits and vegetables using their EBT card. They then get $6 in Fresh Bucks Retail coupons to spend on fresh produce in another transaction.

Where can I spend my Fresh Bucks?

Fresh Bucks obtained at farmers markets can be spent at any participating farmers market and farm stand, directly with a produce vendor. Fresh Bucks Retail coupons obtained at grocery stores can be spent at any participating grocery store. The list of locations where Fresh Bucks can be spent is written directly on the Fresh Bucks currency. Fresh Bucks can be used as full or partial payment (in addition to other currency such as cash or EBT tokens). No change will be given for Fresh Bucks.

What can I buy with Fresh Bucks?

Fresh Bucks can be used to purchase fresh produce, edible plant starts and mushrooms at participating locations.

Do Fresh Bucks expire?

Yes. Fresh Bucks expire on December 31st each year.  If you don’t use them by the end of the year, they have no value and are unredeemable. The expiration date is listed on your Fresh Bucks currency.

How long does the Fresh Bucks season last?

The Fresh Bucks program operates year-round at grocery stores and year-round farmers markets. Seasonal markets are open June-September, with many others opening as early as May and closing as late as the end of October. You can find hours and season dates on the Find Your Market page.

How is Fresh Bucks funded?

Fresh Bucks in Seattle and King County is funded by City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment; USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through a USDA Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive grant awarded to the WA Department of Health; King Conservation District; Public Health-Seattle & King County (through a CDC-funded Partnerships to Improve Community Health grant); the Pike Place Market Foundation and Seattle Childrens’. Participating farmers market organizations and grocery stores contribute staff time and support to operating the program.

Who manages the Fresh Bucks program?

Fresh Bucks is administered by the City of Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment in partnership with farmers markets and grocery stores in Seattle and King County. The Office of Sustainability and Environment is a partner in the Washington state Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive grant administered by the Washington State Department of Health.

What can I do to help Fresh Bucks?

Tell somebody you know about Fresh Bucks—spreading the word goes a long way. Send us an email to request outreach materials like postcards, brochures and posters. We have materials available in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Khmer, Lao, Vietnamese, Bhutanese, Tagalog, Somali, Tigrinya, Amharic and Oromo.