During the 2018 Farmers Market season, customers can go to the information canopy at the Everett Farmers Market and withdraw money from their EBT cards, and receive in exchange dollar-sized wooden tokens with red writing, with value of $1 or $5 to shop with at the farmers market for the same goods they would purchase in the grocery store, but from local processors. For example, meat, cheese, honey, jams, all but no concessions (ready made food to eat). These shoppers also receive a matched of Fresh Bucks up to $10 (limit), rectangular pieces of paper that vaguely resemble currency with a $2 value good for fruit, veggies, edible plants and mushrooms.
“We at the Everett Farmers Market have seen a recording numbers in participants, using these services by 15%. And for many we have introduced them to the farmers market community, that they had never experienced before.”
Funding for the Fresh Bucks program in Snohomish County has come from a grant from FoodFromFarms.org, “Providing Food – Promoting Sustainability Food From Farms increases access to food from local farms and farmers markets for kids, seniors, and those in need.” Farmers Markets who have participated in the Fresh Bucks program this year are: Everett Farmers Market Sunday, Everett Farmers Market @Everett Station (Wednesday), Marysville Farmers Market, Snohomish Farmers Market, Mukilteo Farmers Market, and Port Susan Farmers Market (Stanwood). Find out more about these Farmers Markets and dates they are open at snocofarmersmarkets.com.
Here is an article courtesy of Real Change about how important food access is at the Farmers Markets and the impact of programs like Fresh Bucks. This article is written about the program in Seattle, a bit different, but still gives a great insight as to how fresh bucks make a difference for both the consumer, and local farmer.