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Feeding Florida | Florida's Food Bank Network

History and Impact

Fresh Access Bucks began in 2013 with a Specialty Crop Block Grant awarded to Florida Organic Growers by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In 2015 Fresh Access Bucks was awarded the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives Program (FINIP) grant to expand the program to more outlets and continue doubling SNAP/EBT for locally grown fruits and vegetables. In 2018 FAB joined the Feeding Florida team and with another FINNIP grant will continue supporting SNAP recipients and Florida farmers throughout the state.

Beginning in January, 2020, Fresh Access Bucks will pilot a Florida-specific grocery store nutrition incentive program at three retail outlets, one per year, over a three year period. FAB's retail incentive program will focus on small, independent grocery, convenience of corner store outlets with a capacity and interest to purchase from Florida farmers and offer Fresh Access Bucks in a retail setting in rural, underserved communities that lack access to farmers market and food retail options. 

Since its inception, Fresh Access Bucks has:

  • Generated over $938,246 in healthy food purchases for over 569 Florida farmers
  • 51 participating farmers markets
  • Over 33,035 Federal Benefit Transactions (SNAP & WIC/Senior FMNP)
  • Over 16,359 New Market Shoppers

According to national research on farmers market SNAP incentive programs:

  • 90% of incentive program consumers report increasing their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • In response to increased sales, farmers expand acreage/production, diversify products and add additional hoop houses or greenhouses.

2013-2017 Program Outcomes

 

Testimonials

“It allows us to make the food, the healthy organic food, accessible to people of all income levels.” – Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, Tampa 

“The first year we offered the program someone cried, she was so excited that she would be able to buy organic vegetables from our market on a regular basis.” – St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market, St. Petersburg

“It makes a big difference to me knowing my produce is going to someone who needs it.” – Siembra Farm, Gainesville 

“The program is opening up a new segment for market shoppers. You can’t get better than purchasing fresh from the farm.” – Prevatt Farm, Wimauma (vendor at the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market)