Market Match is an incentive program that encourages those enrolled in the CalFresh food assistance program to improve their diets by eating more fruits and vegetables. Market Match provides vouchers for free fruits and vegetables to CalFresh recipients when they spend their CalFresh benefits at a participating farmers’ market. Market Match helps families with CalFresh stretch their food dollars and afford more healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The program offers farmers’ market customers a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $10 when they use their CalFresh (EBT or food stamp) cards at selected farmers’ markets operated by our partners at the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA). Fresh Approach has offered Market Match-style incentives since 2009 in partnership with the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA). Fresh Approach is a member of the statewide California Market Match Consortium (CMMC), a group of nonprofit organizations and farmers’ market operators that all offer similar healthy food incentive programs under the Market Match banner. Market Match has proven results; helping families to eat better and farmers to sustain their operations.
In addition to the success Market Match program in the Bay Area, other organizations around California also operate Market Match in their local farmers’ markets as a part of the California Market Match Consortium (CMMC).
In 2013, the CMMC commissioned a report to record the development of the Market Match program and assess its impact. That report, “SNAPing up Benefits for Farmers and Shoppers,” finds that In 2012, California farmers in CMMC farmers’ markets had EBT sales of nearly $880,000 a 43%, increase from 2011 revenue 171% increase from the pilot year in 2009.
The return on investment (ROI) for PCFMA and the other CMMC partners has been incredible as the availability of the Market Match incentives spurred additional CalFresh spending. PCFMA saw an ROI of 369% on an investment of $69,500. The ROI for other CMMC partners ranged from 132% for the Agricultural Institute of Marin on an investment of $32,300 to an ROI of 717% for ALBA (Agricultural and Land-Based Training Association) on an investment of $6,761.
The Market Match program has provided support to more than 840 California farmers and more than 37,000 customers. While most of these customers were enrolled in the state of California’s CalFresh program, the ingenuity of CMMC’s partners also allowed Market Match to benefit those receiving Supplemental Security Income, WIC or other federal benefits.
Thanks to Our Funders
Fresh Approach is a proud member of the California Market Match Consortium, led by the Ecology Center. The Ecology Center is a recipient of a USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program grant. Fresh Approach is a subcontractor, offering Market Match incentives that double the value of SNAP purchases at our Freshest Cargo Mobile Farmers’ Market.
Fresh Approach’s work to increase CalFresh utilization at farmers’ markets in Santa Clara County is funded by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, through a Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fresh Approach’s work to increase CalFresh redemption at farmers’ markets throughout the Bay Area, and provide training for farmers’ market managers and volunteers related to CalFresh use at farmers’ markets, is funded through a USDA SNAP Support Grant.