Fresh Access: Farm-fresh, healthy food for all

Our Fresh Access program enables shoppers to use their food stamps – as well as credit and debit cards – to buy fresh, nutritious, and locally-grown food. Food Bucks give food stamp shoppers an extra $2.00 to spend on fruits and veggies for every $5.00 they spend.

orange arrowFresh Access services are available in Allegheny County at 15 farmers markets during the 2022 farmers market season. The season runs May to November, and at one market from December through March 2023.

How Fresh Access works

At Just Harvest’s red market tent or at the market manager’s tent (just look for Fresh Access signs!), shoppers can swipe their electronic benefits transfer (EBT/P-EBT) cards or their credit or debit cards. They will then receive tokens they can use just like cash to purchase a variety of fresh produce, baked goods, meat, and dairy products.

Tokens are accepted by nearly all the market vendors, though the same SNAP rules apply to what EBT/P-EBT users are allowed to purchase. So, shoppers can’t use their food stamps to purchase hot or prepared foods or alcohol at the market. SNAP shoppers also can’t use their card to buy flowers BUT they can use their SNAP benefits to buy fruit or vegetable plants and seeds!

All produce, dairy, jams and jellies, syrups and honey, breads and baked goods, and raw meats, fish, and poultry are EBT-eligible.

You can use your Food Stamps to purchase farm-fresh goods at area farmers marketsWhy Farmers Markets?

Farmers markets have long been a popular source of healthy food. Typically open half the year from May to Thanksgiving, local farmers markets attract thousands of shoppers to locations around the city.

Just Harvest, along with Pittsburgh Citiparks and participating local farmers, launched Fresh Access in May 2013 at the East Liberty and North Side farmers markets. The program is now in its tenth year and operates at a total of 15 locations in Allegheny County.

Fresh Access helps address hunger by expanding access to fresh, healthy food. The program also helps support our region’s small farms and the Pittsburgh area communities that host farmers markets.

We hope to see you at one of the Fresh Access markets soon!

Farmers Market Nutrition Vouchers

People aged 60 and older (by December 31, 2022) who meet the income guidelines are eligible to get $24 in Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) vouchers to be used at farmers markets and farm stands.  The county will distribute the SFMNP vouchers at Allegheny County senior centers starting Thurs. Jun. 23, 2022 until they run out, typically in early September. You can also contact the Area Agency on Aging at (412) 350-5460 about how to get them. The four $6 vouchers expire November 30 and recipients must spend each in their entirety – market vendors will not provide change.

Eligible WIC recipients will receive FMNP vouchers with their WIC checks at their quarterly visit sometime between May and September.

You can find a list of the farmers markets and farm stands near you where you can redeem these vouchers at this state website.

More Info on Local Farmers Markets

Get Involved!

Like the outdoors and fresh, local food? Volunteer with Fresh Access!

Volunteer
orange arrowQuestions about Fresh Access? Contact Fresh Access Coordinator Averyl Hall at averylh@justharvest.org or 412-643-4093

Our Sponsors

Major support for Fresh Access in 2022 is generously provided by:

The Allegheny County Health Department through a cooperative agreement with the US Centers for Disease Control
The Safe and Healthy Communities Program of the Allegheny County Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Health
Fresh Access Food Bucks are made possible in cooperation with The Food Trust through a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award numbers 2019-70030-30412 and 2020-70030-33186.

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