In addition to improving health and reducing hunger, healthy food vouchers can provide an economic stimulus for vendors that provide fresh fruit and vegetables.
Heart of the City Farmers Market in San Francisco (the city’s only independent, farmer-operated non-profit farmers market, since 1981) is one of the most popular places among our participants for redeeming their vouchers. Our participants may exchange their vouchers for tokens to spend on fresh, seasonal, locally-grown fruit and vegetables.
“We’re seeing more tokens coming in than ever before. Farmers are really grateful because for every token they see, they know where it comes from and they know that that’s an EatSF token that wouldn’t have been spent otherwise. It’s money that wouldn’t have gone to small farming in this way.
And it has far surpassed my expectations for how successful it would be on the ground here at the farmers market. We had no idea. I mean, when we started this, we were like ‘oh this is cute. We’ll help them out with maybe $300/month.” But, no, we’re up to $6,000, you know, at this point. So, that’s great.” – Kate (Executive Director, Heart of the City Farmer’s Market)
“I like the fact that people come and shop for vegetables so they can stay healthy.”– Mateo (Farmer)
“Well, I believe that because it increases the buying power of the customer, they will purchase things they would not purchase before because they figured it was out of their economic ability. – Tony (Farmer)