5 Ways Pike Place Market PDA Helps Feed Seattle
The Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) has worked to expand food access and provide healthy, nutritious food to Seattle residents for the past two decades through farmers markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, and partnerships within the Pike Place Market community and City of Seattle.
Read on to learn about five ways the PDA is helping provide Seattle residents with healthy fruits and vegetables while supporting 70+ local family farms, the majority of which are BIPOC, immigrant or refugee, and women-run farms.
Timeline of the PDA’s Food Access Efforts
1. EBT Bonus Card Matching Program
Did you know that Pike Place Market highstalls (our name for produce stands) were the first non-farmers market locations in the country to be approved to offer an EBT matching program? At the start of the 2010s, a grant from the Newman’s Own Foundation helped the PDA establish this as one of our first Food Access Programs at Pike Place Market.
Now run by The Market Commons, the EBT Bonus Card Matching Program allows EBT users to double their EBT dollars when they purchase produce from select produce stands in Pike Place Market.
The farmers at our Pike Place Market Express Farmers Markets and Pike Place Market also participate in city and federal food assistance programs. Learn more about food assistance programs offered at Pike Place Market here.
2. Express Farmers Markets
Since 2009, the PDA has run Pike Place Market Express Farmers Markets throughout downtown Seattle. These small neighborhood-style farmers markets have introduced Pike Place Market farmers and artisanal producers to new customers, further expanding our Meet the Producers motto and making it easier for people to find and purchase nutritious, locally grown food.
Over the years, the PDA has run Express Farmers Markets at five locations across Seattle. Learn more here!
3. SNAP Market Match – Farmers Market EBT Matching Program
Launching the same year as our Express Farmers Markets, SNAP Market Match allows customers with an EBT card to double their dollars to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers. EBT customers should visit the information tent at our Express Farmers Markets or The Market Commons at Pike Place Market to learn more and participate in the program.
4. PIKE BOX CSA
In the summer of 2013, the PDA expanded Pike Place Market’s food access goals by launching a multi-farm sourced community-supported agriculture program. The produce subscription box was later re-branded as PIKE BOX in 2018 and remains active today.
The farm-to-customer program sources 100% of the fresh produce, meats, eggs, and flowers from farmers across Washington, providing Seattle residents and downtown workers easy access to fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. The program also supports farmers by guaranteeing sales during uncertain times and allowing them to experiment with new crop varieties that might be more challenging to sell.
Currently, the PIKE BOX program offers three 9-week seasons with special one-time PIKE BOX options; the Fall Harvest PIKE BOX, and the Holiday PIKE BOX. Learn more!
The PDA works with The Market Commons to supply PIKE BOX subscriptions to eligible Seattle residents and workers at a reduced rate, allowing a greater number of people to benefit from the program. Reach out to The Market Commons for more information on the PIKE BOX CSA discounts.
5. Fresh Bucks To Go
In 2018, the PDA joined a greater city-wide effort to provide preschoolers with fresh local fruits and vegetables in Seattle’s subsidized preschool programs. Pike Place Market’s program is called Fresh Bucks To Go.
Now in its 5th year, the program, managed and run by the PDA and funded by the City of Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax, currently serves nine preschools in Capitol Hill, the Central District, and north Seattle.
On a bi-weekly basis, preschools in the program receive four farm fresh produce items and recipes to distribute to children’s parents upon pick up.
Through the Pike Place Market Express Farmers Markets, the growing PIKE BOX CSA program, and a renewed partnership with the City of Seattle that provides subsidized produce boxes to local preschools, the Pike Place Market PDA is continuing the legacy of providing nutritious food to Seattleites and helping Washington farmers weather changes in the marketplace.