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 FINIP 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.
According to national research on farmers market SNAP incentive programs:
“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)