Market Match Now Available at CUESA Farmers Markets | CUESA

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June 26, 2015

Market Match Now Available at CUESA Farmers Markets

Beginning Thursday, July 2, 2015, customers who spend their CalFresh (food stamp) benefits at the CUESA farmers markets can double their food dollars! Market Match helps make farm-fresh, locally grown foods more affordable by matching federal nutrition benefits dollar-for-dollar, up to $10, with tokens that can be redeemed for fruits and vegetables from any farm in our market. Visit our Info Booth to learn more.

What is Market Match?

Market Match is a nutrition incentive program offered at 130 farmers markets across the state. Market Match doubles customers’ buying power when they spend their CalFresh EBT benefits (formerly known as food stamps) at participating markets. Market Match supports local farms and helps low-income shoppers afford more locally grown fruits and vegetables.

How does Market Match work?

When a shopper withdraws food stamp dollars at the CUESA Info Booth in exchange for EBT scrip, they can receive an equal amount in Market Match scrip for free (up to $10 per person per day). Market Match is good only for fruits and vegetables.

What are the benefits of Market Match?

Market Match makes fresh produce affordable to low-income families. Fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, but they cost more per calorie than most processed foods, so families on a tight food budget are often unable to afford enough for optimum health. Market Match makes food stamp dollars go farther, and it also helps level the playing field by making local and sustainable produce more accessible to people with limited income. The very existence of the Market Match program says to low-income shoppers “This food is for you too.”

Market Match helps California farmers by bringing more customers and more food dollars to farmers markets. In a 2013 national evaluation, 93% of Market Match customers reported that the incentive was what drew them to the market to spend their SNAP benefits. 69% of farmers surveyed at participating markets reported that they have new shoppers. 66% reported they earned more income. 28% even reported diversifying their production as a result of the Market Match program. Market Match is contributing to the economic viability of  our state’s small- and mid-sized farms and our rural communities. 

What is the history of Market Match, and how is it funded?

Market Match was founded in 2009 by Roots of Change to help California’s low-income communities gain access to healthy food to and support local farmers. Since 2012, the program has been led by the Ecology Center. CUESA began offering the program in 2015.

The program is now funded statewide through a grant from the USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program, a new program established in the 2014 Farm Bill. Participating markets are required to provide matching funds in order to receive the federal grant money, and CUESA is grateful to the generous donors who are making this possible. Donate here »

To learn more about Market Match, please visit www.marketmatch.org.

 

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »