The blue-cheese salad dressing, butter, ground turkey, cans of grain-free dog food and new toothbrush came to $24.97. Laurie Mahlenbrei handed the cashier a slice of wood marked $25, and walked out. The wooden currency is good only in the small city of Tenino, Washington, part of an effort to help residents and local merchants alike get through the economic fallout of the pandemic. Decades after it created a similar program during the Great Depression, the city is dipping into its emergency accounts to give people in need up to $300 per month in wooden currency to spend. "The city could have given out debit cards or cash, but we don't know where that money is going to go," said Tyler Whitworth, past president of the local chamber of commerce. This is one of the ways we could keep the money here in the community.