We are thrilled to announce that Namaste Farm Stand has been authorized to accept EBT benefits and Fresh Bucks coupons! People have been asking to use EBT benefits at the farm stand since our grand opening. We knew it was a need; our community survey results showed people would use their EBT benefits at the farm stands, and SeaTac and Tukwila has some of the highest SNAP participation rates in King County. Tukwila has the highest rate among seniors 65 and older – 30 percent use SNAP benefits compared to the countywide average of 12 percent. Starting at our Tukwila location on Aug. 15, and in SeaTac later this month (stay tuned for the exact date), community members will be able to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from the weekly farm stand using their EBT dollars (also known as SNAP, Basic Food or Food Stamps). In addition, EBT cardholders can get a dollar-for-dollar match through the Fresh Bucks program.
The challengeWe began the application process last fall, but had a challenging time moving forward largely due our unique model. We’re not a farmers market. We’re not the farmers. We’re a mobile farm stand operated by a nonprofit that buys wholesale from local growers to then sell directly to the community. This all made it challenging to check of the necessary boxes in the application and submit. However, thanks to the dedication of many partners, we were able to get clear guidance from USDA’s Food Nutrition Services (FNS), the federal agency that manages EBT retailer authorization. We would like to extend a BIG thank you to partners that helped us through the application process. FIN and IRC’s New Roots Program received support from King County Public Health, WSU SNAP-Ed and WA Farmers Market Association.
How Fresh Bucks worksCustomers purchasing fruits and vegetables with their EBT card get matching Fresh Bucks equal in value to the fresh produce purchased ($2-for-$2 in Fresh Bucks). For example, the customer purchases $6 of fresh fruits and vegetables using their EBT card. They then get $6 in Fresh Bucks to spend on produce in another transaction. The Fresh Bucks do not need to be used at that time—they expire at the end of year and can be used at any participating location.
Help us spread the word!We need your support to raise awareness in the community. Please:
- Post and share this flier around the community.
- Distribute these fliers to community members, clients, or program participants.
- Share this Facebook video:
- Create your own Facebook video in other languages. Don’t forget to tag Food Innovation Network.
- Request a presentation by FIN staff or Community Food Advocate to come talk to about this and other food resources in the community. We can come to classes, workshops and community meetings and present in many different languages. If interested, please email Kamal Adhikari at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visit Namaste Farm Stand and get some fresh, local fruits and veggies!
We’re thrilled to announce our community farm stand is returning this season, and has added a second location! We will host Namaste Farm Stand weekly at two locations: Matt Griffin YMCA in SeaTac and the new Tukwila Village Plaza near the Tukwila Library. Last year, FIN and our partner, International Rescue Committee’s New Roots program, hosted a farm stand for 10 weeks at the Matt Griffin YMCA, and the local fresh fruits and vegetables for sale were a hit. This year we’re excited to double the length of our season, now running June through October, and also add the Tukwila location. Namaste Farm Stand will sell fruits and vegetables from local producers including IRC New Roots’s Community Garden (Tukwila), Faith Beyond Farms (Enumclaw), and Collins Family Orchard (Selah). Each week we’ll do a cooking demo showing ways to prepare and cook the variety of produce for sale. We are fortunate to have great partners and funders in making this project happen. FIN and IRC New Roots would like to thank: City of Tukwila, Kona Kai, Communities of Opportunity, Les Dames d’ Escoffier, Matt Griffin YMCA, SHAG, and WSU Extension. Please join us for the Grand Opening at the Tukwila Village Plaza on Wednesday, June 13 from 4-7 p.m. We’ll have fresh produce for sale, as well as kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations, raffles, and live international music. And get your fresh fruits and vegetables from our local growers all season long! We'll operate two farm stands weekly from 4-7 p.m.:
Join us for FIN's 3rd Annual Resource Fair
And connect with everything food!
SeaTac’s first farm stand This Thursday, 4-6pm at Matt Griffin YMCA. Get local fruits and vegetables.
SeaTac’s first farm stand at the Matt Griffin YMCA. . Come shop for local fruits and vegetables at the farm stand this Thursday, from 4-6pm at the Matt Griffin YMCA. This week we’ll have cherries, peaches, apricots, apples, carrots, rainbow chard, sugar snap peas, salad mix and zucchini! Come on opening day and get a FREE COOKBOOK! What’s cookin’? WSU’s Food $ense will be doing cooking demos—sharing easy, healthy recipes you can use with produce bought from the stands. The Eating Well for Less cookbook features recipes and tips for eating on a budget. Recipes are kid-tested!
SeaTac's first community garden (located at North SeaTac Park) is now accepting applications! See the garden application for more details: CommunityGardenApplication_2017
In June, FIN hosted a second convening with organizations working in urban agriculture throughout South King County. The group discussed how as a network we can connect people to resources and land to farm or garden. As an initial step, the group began to create an inventory of community gardens, urban farms and related programs happening now. The group- the South King County Urban Ag Networks now meets quarterly and has listserv to share info and resources. If you are interested in learning more and joining the group, please contact Sheelan at email@example.com.
The steering committee recently approved a charter that clarifies roles and expectations and has set a goal to increase representation of community members to 50% of the committee. In the next couple months each working group will get to weigh in our plan for recruiting and onboarding new members. Recruitment will not begin for several months. If you would like to learn more or discuss, please contact us.