In 2013, Florida Organic Growers received a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to develop the Fresh Access Bucks Program to increase sales of Florida grown fruits and vegetables to Florida consumers. This program increases access to and consumption of healthy, locally produced fruits and vegetables for low-income Florida residents through an incentive program at Farmers Markets for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP- formerly the Food Stamp Program).
For example, an individual spending $10 on fruits and vegetables at a participating market can buy $20 worth of fruits and vegetables- increasing revenues for specialty crop farmers and making specialty crops much more affordable for low-income Florida residents.
The Fresh Access Bucks program works…
- To incentivize the use of federal nutrition assistance benefits to purchase Florida grown fruits and vegetables.
- To increase the demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables in underserved communities.
- To build a highly visible network of Florida farmers markets implementing innovative programs.
Potential Impact of Farmers Markets EBT and Fresh Access Bucks
- Nationally in 2012, 40,000 incentive program consumers purchased fresh, healthy produce from local farmers at partnering farm-to-retail venues, and increase from 20,000 participants in 2010.
- 90% of incentive program consumers reported increasing their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- On average, 27% of total market sales at participating farm-to-retail venues were from incentive program consumers.
- In response to increased sales, farmers expanded acreage/production, diversified products and added additional hoop houses or greenhouses.
- Currently small scale farmers receive less than 1% of the approximately $5 billion in federal nutrition assistance dollars that flow into Florida. With more funds spent locally, it would support a more resilient, local economy.
Participating Farmers Markets
- Alachua CountyAlachua County Farmers Market on 441SWAG Market
- Brevard CountyBrevard County Farmers Market
- Broward CountyDania Beach PATCH MarketLas Olas Farmers Market
- Duval CountyBeaches Green MarketAtlantic Beach Mid-Week Market
- Hillsborough CountySweetwater Organic Community Farm and Market
- Miami-Dade CountyBee Haven FarmSouthwest Community Farmers MarketUpper East Side Farmers MarketVerde Gardens Farmers MarketMiami Mobile Farmstand
- Pinellas CountySt. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market
If you are a farmers market and interested in participating in this program, please contact Carmen Franz firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Specialty Crop Block
- Jane’s Trust
- Duval County Health Department
- Health Foundation of South Florida
- Wholesome Wave
More Information and Resources
Fresh Access Bucks Application (for farmers markets)