What We Do: Philly Food Bucks

Encouraging SNAP (food stamp) purchases at farmers' markets

The issue

The Food Trust has worked to provide local residents with fresh, nutritious and affordable food in their own communities for over two decades. Nonetheless, many Philadelphia families continue to struggle to provide their families with fresh fruits and vegetables. While 31% of Philadelphia residents currently receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, usage of these benefits at farmers’ markets has lagged behind other retail establishments in recent years. The Food Trust seeks to motivate SNAP recipients to purchase fresh, local and affordable produce as well as strengthen farmers’ markets by increasing farmer incomes.

The Food Trust Solution

In 2010, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and The Food Trust launched the Philly Food Bucks program. This healthy food incentive program encourages SNAP (food stamp) recipients to use their benefits to purchase fresh, local ingredients at participating farmers’ markets throughout the city.

For every $5 spent using SNAP at participating markets, customers receive a $2 Philly Food Bucks coupon for fresh fruits and vegetables, increasing the purchasing power of lower-income farmers’ market shoppers by 40%.

Since the introduction of Philly Food Bucks, SNAP sales at The Food Trust's farmers’ markets has increased by more than 375%. These additional revenue sources directly contribute to the sustainability of local agriculture by boosting the revenue of Pennsylvania farmers. The Philly Food Bucks program is available to all SNAP recipients and can be redeemed at The Food Trust's farmers’ markets and other sites that sell local fruits and vegetables across Philadelphia.

Contact

Community groups working with SNAP-eligible populations can apply to distribute Philly Food Bucks by filing out the Application for Community Distribution. Return by or fax, 215-575-0466.