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Market bucks program

The Mercer Island Farmers Market (MIFM) Market Bucks program is designed to benefit both families experiencing food insecurity and our market vendors who provide the fresh produce and baked goods that can be purchased with Market Bucks. In 2023, MIFM experienced an almost five-fold increase in requests for Market Bucks over 2022, disbursing almost $21,000 over the course of the 21 weeks of markets we hosted. Going forward, MIFM has decided to designate a larger portion of our budget to fund an expanded Market Bucks program. The Market Bucks program has been made possible with support from our sponsor, Aljoya.

MIFM is pleased to help support local families and vendors through our Market Bucks program. Given the significant increase in demonstrated need last year, the MIFM is making changes to the program for 2024:

  • Market Bucks distribution will be capped at $20,000 over the course of the 18 regular markets in 2024 (Sundays, June-September), with $1,110 available each week to distribute to 37 beneficiaries

  • All Market Bucks expire on September 30, 2024

  • No Market Bucks will be distributed/redeemed at the November Harvest Market

  • Eligible SNAP/EBT members will be provided with a weekly benefit of $30 (6, $5 coupons) per card, to spend at designated vendor booths. Given the increase in demand for Market Bucks, we’ve changed the weekly benefit to $30, from $40, so we can assist 37 families/individuals each week

  • Market Bucks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis between 10 AM and 1 PM at the Information Booth

  • Market Bucks can be redeemed only at designated vendor booths (those displaying a placard indicating eligibility)

  • Market Bucks may only be used to purchase items meeting USDA SNAP/EBT guidelines

    • Includes: fruits and vegetables; meat, poultry, and fish; dairy products; breads and cereals; and seeds and plants that produce food for the household.

    • Not eligible: hot food items, nor can Market Bucks be redeemed for non-food items such as flowers, craft items, decorative plants, gourds, etc.

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