Just Harvest is working to end hunger by expanding access to healthy, farm-fresh food.
Our Fresh Access program enables shoppers to use their food stamps – as well as credit and debit cards – to buy fresh, nutritious, and locally-grown food. And now, Fresh Access Food Bucks give food stamp shoppers an extra $2.00 to spend on fruits and veggies for every $5.00 they spend in food stamps at our 15 participating farmers markets!
Farmers markets have long been a popular source of healthy food. Generally open from May to Thanksgiving, local farmers markets attract thousands of shoppers to locations around the city.
Just Harvest, along with Pittsburgh Citiparks and participating local farmers, launched Fresh Access in May 2013 at the East Liberty and North Side farmers markets. The program now operates at a total of 15 locations in Allegheny County. (See the sidebar graphic.)
At Just Harvest’s red market tent, food stamp recipients can swipe their ACCESS electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards and receive tokens they can use to purchase a variety of fresh produce, baked goods, meat and dairy products. We ask those who use the token kiosk for credit and debit card purchases to contribute $1 per transaction to defray some of the costs of the program. Tokens are accepted by dozens of vendors and the list is always growing.
We hope to see you at a Just Harvest kiosk soon!
Fun Fresh Access Facts
|Participating markets: 15
Participating vendors: 108
Total sales as of Sep. 2015: $238,000
ACCESS food stamps transactions as of Sep. 2015: 4,150 (33%)
Total Food Bucks given May-Sep. 2015: $9,894
|96% of food stamp shoppers rated the Fresh Access program as “Important” or “Very Important” for purchasing fruits and vegetables
95% of food stamp shoppers rated the Fresh Access program as “Important” or “Very Important” in their decision to shop at farmers markets
80% of food stamp shoppers said their produce consumption has increased as a result of the Fresh Access program
99% of food stamp shoppers found the program easy to use
Figures based on a survey of 122 Fresh Access customers in early 2014
Want Fresh Access at YOUR Market?
Are you a farmer or vendor who wants to expand your sales?
Are you a farmers market organizer who wants to expand the popularity and success of your market?