The Fresh Bucks program matches your SNAP/EBT (food stamps) benefits $2:$2 up to $10 at all Bellingham Farmers Market locations.
HOW IT WORKS:
- GO: To your participating farmers market information booth.
- SWIPE: Your EBT card for whatever amount you would like to spend at market. You’ll receive EBT tokens to spend with any market vendor selling EBT-eligible foods at the farmers market.
- MATCH: In addition to your EBT tokens, you’ll also receive coupons for a $2:$2 match up to $10 eligible for fruit and vegetable purchases.
- SHOP: For fresh produce and more!
What is Fresh Bucks?
Fresh Bucks is a SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as “food stamps”) matching program available at all Bellingham Farmers Markets. Fresh Bucks matches SNAP purchases up to $10 once per market per day.
2. Who is eligible for Fresh Bucks?
Any EBT cardholder with $2 or more in SNAP (food stamps) dollars on their card is eligible to match those dollars at a participating farmers market or farm stand.
3. How do I get Fresh Bucks?
Any EBT cardholder with $2 or more in SNAP (food stamps) dollars on their card may take it to the information booth and swipe for the quantity they wish to spend that day. The booth manager will then distribute that quantity of SNAP dollars in market currency to be used with any vendor selling EBT eligible items, as well as an additional match of $2-for-$2 up to $10 in Fresh Bucks currency to be used on produce items (fruit, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, or plant starts).
4. Where can I spend my Fresh Buck tokens?
Fresh Bucks tokens are redeemable at any Bellingham Farmers Market produce vendor. If you have leftover Fresh Bucks from a previous trip to market, you may take them to either the Fairhaven Market on Wednesdays (June-August) or the Downtown Market on Saturdays (April-December) and go directly to the farmer with whom you wish to shop. Fresh Bucks can be used as full or partial payment (in addition to other currency such as cash or market bucks). No change will be given for Fresh Bucks.
5. 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 lose value and are unredeemable.
6. How long does the Fresh Bucks season last?
The Fresh Bucks program now operates year round! Our Downtown Market operates the third Saturday of January, February, March and every Saturday from April through December 23rd (10am-3pm). Our Fairhaven Market operates every Wednesday from June through August (12pm-5pm).
7. Who benefits from Fresh Bucks?
The program helps low-income shoppers increase their purchasing power for fresh, local, healthy food while cultivating relationships with local growers; helps farmers increase their revenue at the farmers market and create new connections with new customers; and helps farmers markets remain diversified, community spaces that truly are for everyone.
8. Who funds Fresh Bucks?
Fresh Bucks in Whatcom County is funded by by many organizations: The Opportunity Council received a USDA Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentives grant that has allowed the Community Food Coop and more markets in Whatcom County to participate. The Sustainable Whatcom Fund of the Whatcom Community Foundation provided initial funding to start the program and continues to support Fresh Bucks with matching funds.