Food Access

Healthy, Local, and Sustainable Food
How we grow, process, and transport our food is nearly as important as what we eat. A diet rich in local fruits and vegetables reduces greenhouse gas emissions, protects our natural resources, and helps create stronger communities. Seattle envisions an equitable food system where everyone, particularly people of color, immigrants, refugees, and people with limited incomes can access and afford healthy, local, culturally appropriate food.


Farm to preschool data

Food Access: Children & Seniors

Goal: Increase access to healthy local food for children and seniors 
In 2018: 68 childcare and senior sites served locally grown produce.

5,418 children and seniors were served healthy, local, and organic produce in 2018 along with nutritional education and training. This is nearly a 21% increase over the number of people served in 2016. 


Graph depicting increase from 11 thousand to 47 thousand Fresh Bucks usage

Food Access: Affordable Fruits & Vegetables

Goal: Increase access to healthy food for people with low incomes 
In 2018, Fresh Bucks use was four times higher than in 2014. Customers used Fresh Bucks 47,305 times to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables. 

Seattle's Fresh Bucks program helps families and individuals stretch their tight food budget through three programs: Fresh Bucks Match, Fresh Bucks Vouchers and Fresh Bucks Rx. Boosted by Seattle's Sweetened Beverage Tax, Fresh Bucks expanded the number of locations where Fresh Bucks is honored--including all Seattle Safeway stores. 

Fresh Bucks Match doubles the purchasing power for low-income residents who use their federal food stamp (SNAP) benefits to buy fruits and vegetables. Participants who receive monthly Fresh Bucks Vouchers use them like cash to buy fruits and vegetables at all Fresh Bucks retailers.  


People of color using fresh bucksEquitable Access

Goal: Serve more people of color with city food access programs
The percent of Fresh Bucks Rx participants who are people of color increased 23% between 2017 and 2018 - from 62% to 77%. 

With Fresh Bucks Rx, health and social service providers write "prescriptions" to eligible patients and patients can use their prescriptions like cash to buy fruits and vegetables at all participating retailers. 


Farm to preschool dataLocal Farmland

Goal: Protect and preserve local farmland
1,772 acres of farmland (27 farms) preserved through King County Transfer Development Rights (TDR) program since 2013.

The King County TDR program is an innovative and voluntary program that preserves rural and resource land by steering development into urban areas. The Program is based on free-market principles and prices that motivates landowner and developer participation. Rural landowners realize economic return through the sale of development rights to private developers who are able to build more compactly in designated urban neighborhoods.


34163 pounds of food donatedNeighbors Supporting Healthy Food Access

Goal: Grow produce to support Seattle's emergency food system
In 2018, Seattle gardeners donated 34,163 lbs (roughly 17 tons) of organically grown food to Seattle residents experiencing food insecurity.

Seattle's P-Patch Program, managed by the Department of Neighborhoods, includes 89 P-Patches located throughout the city. Community gardeners grow food on 14.9 acres and provide stewardship for an additional 18.8 acres of public land for a total of 33.7 acres. In addition to supporting gardeners to grow for food banks and meal programs, the P-Patch Program actively facilitates and partners with other organizations to support market gardening, youth gardening, and community food security programs that serve all Seattle communities with an emphasis on the City's immigrant, youth, and lower income residents


Farm to preschool data

Food Economy

Goal: Grow the local food economy
In 2018, local farmers earned $821,631 from Fresh Bucks and SNAP (food stamps) at farmers markets and food stands -- a 100% increase over 2017 earnings. 

Local food assistance programs not only help folks from going hungry, but they also boost the bottom line for our local farmers. This data includes what Farmers Markets redeemed in Fresh Bucks Match and SNAP/EBT (food stamp) purchases. All Seattle Farmers Markets and farm stands accept SNAP/EBT and Fresh Bucks.