SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Regional Health District and Safeway welcomed the Complete Eats program to Spokane Wednesday.

The program makes fruits and vegetables more affordable for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/EBT customers.

Safeway shoppers who buy at least $10 worth of qualifying fruits and vegetables using their SNAP card and Safeway Club Card will get a coupon for $5 off their next purchase. Customers can choose from a variety of fresh, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.

Brandalene Harper was shopping Wednesday with her son Gabriel who is almost 2-years-old. She said she is excited about the program because healthy eating is important for her family.

“I have a hard time buying produce because sometimes they are out of season, the price goes up and its harder to make your budget and it really helps your money go further,” she said.

To be eligible to get SNAP benefits, people or families must meet federal program requirements, including monthly income standards. In Spokane County, in 2016, there were 119,209 people who used SNAP monthly benefits to buy food and help make ends meet. Many of those people live in neighborhoods where they have greater access to foods that promote unhealthy eating.

“I think it’s imperative for people to acknowledge the fact that fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy choices are key to preventing a lot of illnesses,” said Spokane county MPH Health officer Dr. Bob Lutz.

Studies show low income families often have limited food budgets and choices and sometimes leads to unhealthy behaviors.

Complete Eats is available at all eight Safeway locations in Spokane County and more than 160 other Safeway locations in Washington.