County launches program to deliver food from local farms to hungry families

Sep 15, 2017

Snohomish County, in partnership with the Food From Farms and the Washington State Farmers Market Association, has launched a pilot Fresh Bucks program at several farmers markets in Snohomish County.

The Fresh Bucks program will expand access to fresh and healthy foods to low-income individuals and families through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) benefits with funding from the non-profit organization Food From Farms.

Any Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cardholder with $2 or more in benefit dollars on their card is eligible to match their dollars at participating markets. Fresh Bucks does not currently support Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), or cash benefits. If a family does not currently receive EBT benefits, but believes that they might qualify, they can verify their eligibility through Washington Connection.

The Fresh Bucks program offers a $2 up to $10 match on EBT funds per day at participating Washington State Farmers Market Association member markets in Snohomish County, including the Everett Friday Farmers Market, Everett Sunday Farmers Market, Marysville Farmers Market, Mukilteo Farmers Market, and Port Susan Farmers Market.

Customers may spend their Fresh Bucks dollars on fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh cut herbs, mushrooms, and produce-bearing plant starts. This year’s program will last through the season or until contributions are exhausted.

“Fresh Bucks will allow us to leverage the generosity of our residents and community partners while helping both farmers and those who may struggle at the cost of putting healthy food on their table,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said.

“We will do all we can to keep our local resources heading toward local farmers and assist some of our most vulnerable neighbors.”

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