Using CalFresh at the Farmers Market | CUESA

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market »

OPEN! Sat 8am–2pm | Tue & Thu 10am–2pm

Mission Community Market »

Returns March 11, 2021 | SF

Using CalFresh at the Farmers Market

Use Your CalFresh Benefits at CUESA’s Farmers Markets—and Double Them with Market Match!

You can use your CalFresh benefits to purchase fresh food at CUESA’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and Mission Community Market. CalFresh (also known as SNAP or EBT) makes farm-fresh, locally grown foods more affordable for thousands of Californians, while directly supporting small family farms.

It’s easy! During market hours, swipe your EBT card at the CUESA Info Booth to receive market coins to spend in the farmers market. EBT shoppers can double their food dollars (up to $10 per market day) through our Market Match program, which offers free market coins redeemable for fruits and vegetables only.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about CalFresh and Market Match.

What is CalFresh?

CalFresh is California’s implementation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. SNAP is a vital federal food security program that helps millions of Americans access nutritious food. Nationwide, 38 million Americans received nutrition assistance through the SNAP program in 2019.

CalFresh benefits are issued monthly on an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card, which works similar to a debit card at participating farmers markets, retail food outlets, and grocery stores.

Who is eligible for CalFresh?

CalFresh serves individuals and families with low incomes, especially seniors, disabled people, and households with children. People who are employed or unemployed, homeless individuals, students, SSI recipients, and immigrants can also be eligible. Learn more about eligibility and income guidelines.

How do I apply for CalFresh/EBT?

You can apply online in 10 minutes at GetCalFresh.org.

What can CalFresh benefits be used to buy?

CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase eligible food items like fruits, vegetables, beans, meats, dairy products, rice, bread, nuts, and other staples, as well as seeds to grow your own food. Benefits cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, vitamins, medicine, non-food and household items, or most hot or prepared food items.

How do I use CalFresh at the farmers market?

Redeem your CalFresh benefits by visiting the farmers market info booth. Let the market staff know how many benefits you want to redeem, swipe your EBT card, and receive market coins to use at individual farmers market stands. CalFresh coins can be used to purchase any food product except hot foods or food made for immediate consumption.

How do I double my benefits with Market Match?

Market Match is a nutrition incentive program offered at 130 farmers markets across the state, including CUESA’s farmers markets. At participating markets, CalFresh shoppers can double their food dollars, receiving additional market coins for free to spend on fruits and vegetables. 

Here’s how it works: When you withdraw your benefits at the CUESA Info Booth in exchange for CalFresh tokens, you can receive an equal amount in Market Match tokens for free, up to $10 per person per day. Market Match tokens are good for fruits and vegetables only. So for your $10 in CalFresh benefits, you now have $20 to spend on healthy food at the farmers market.

Does the farmers market accept WIC or FMNP vouchers?

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) and Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers must be redeemed directly at participating sellers’ stalls.

Where can I find CUESA’s farmers markets?

Visit us at our four weekly farmers markets in San Francisco:

Sign up for our weekly newsletter or follow us on Instagram or Facebook for CalFresh updates, promotions, recipes, and farmers market news.

 

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »