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Produce Incentives Put Healthy Food in Washington Shoppers’ Reach

After moving from Seattle to Spokane to complete drug and alcohol treatment, Omero needed some support to get back on his feet. While launching his new chapter in Eastern Washington, Omero connected with community health advocates who lived in his apartment complex.

They told him about Complete Eats coupons — which increase the purchasing power of people who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing matching funds for fruits and vegetables.

With Complete Eats, when shoppers like Omero purchase $10 dollars of fruit and vegetables at participating Safeway stores, they receive a $5 coupon for fruits and vegetables at the end of that transaction to use toward a future purchase.

Complete Eats, Washington State Department of Health
Omero uses Complete Eats

“[Complete Eats] really helps me feel a little bit better about myself, like I have options. Because when you don’t have a lot of stuff it is nice to have something that you can just go into a store and pick whatever you want.”

Now looking for his next job, Omero also uses Fresh Bucks, which provides a similar benefit for SNAP shoppers but at participating local farmers markets.

“…when I go to the Farmers Market and get the Fresh Bucks, it’s like ‘now I have more money in my budget than I did.’ It’s nice to have that extra spending room.”

Complete Eats, Fresh Bucks, and Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions (which are distributed to patients and clients of 16 Washington health care systems and local health departments) are all part of the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program managed by the Department of Health and operated in partnership with dozens of local and state-wide organizations. Together, these programs help people like Omero all across the state by boosting their access to healthy foods.

The above is a release of the Washington State Department of Health.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents.

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