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  • 1 in 5 kids were on food stamps in 2014.  This program is now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).  SNAP costs more than $75 billion a year.  The benefits, which go to l in 7 Americans, and the program has more than doubled in cost since 2008.  ("Census:  1 in 5 kids on food stamps," Associated Press, January 29, 2015; "Automatic cuts affect food stamp program," by Evan Halper and Cindy Chang, McClatchy-Tribune, November 2, 2013)

  • About 14% of all Americans were on food stamps in 2013.  There were 7 million Americans for whom food stamps were their only source of income.  Local food banks are not positioned to serve as "backstops."  ("Automatic cuts affect food stamp program," by Even Halper and Cindy Chang, McClatchy-Tribune, November 2, 2013) 
What You Can Do
  • Fresh Bucks.  Shop at your Farmers Market with Fresh Bucks, and purchase produce with your SNAP/EBT card. 

    Visit any vendor who sells fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs or vegetable starts
    to make your purchase.  (No change will be given for Fresh Bucks.) 

    1. Look for the Fresh Bucks sign at the Market information tent.
    2. Swipe your SNAP/EBT Card.
    3. Receive $2 in Fresh Bucks for every $5 in SNAP/EBT you spend.
    4. Get 40% more fruits and vegetables!

    Spokane's Catholic Charities' Food for All and the Fresh Bucks programs give $2 to federal aid recipients for every $5 they spend at farmers markets in and around Spokane County.  This gives people in low-income areas better access to fresh produce.  Fresh Bucks works at every farmers market in Spokane County (except possibly the one in Liberty Lake until 2016).  ("Food stamps can stretch at farmers markets," by Chad Sokol, The Spokesman-Review, June 11, 2015; Second Harvest)

    Questions?  (509) 459-6163

Additional Resources

Parent Help
A website to connect your family to state-sponsored free health programs, as well as food programs and resources in your community, such as WIC, Food Stamps, and low-cost health insurance. Or call the Family Health Hotline (A program of WithinReach) 1-800-322-2588 to connect your family to food and health resources anywhere in Washington.

(Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program)
(877) 501-2233   Washington's Office
(800) 562-6906   Recipient Fraud
(888) 436-6392   Retailer Fraud

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
Federal program (formerly Welfare) provides cash assistance.
Designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. 
80,000 people in Washington receive TANF, including 55,000 children (2015) 
(202) 401-9275 (Help for Families)

Washington Connection
State, Federal and Tribal resources.
You may qualify for assistance with food,
medical, cash, employment, education,
housing or utilities.