Market Match is an incentive and bonus offered to Calfresh food stamp recipients. When someone spends their CalFresh benefits at participating farmers’ markets, they receive extra funds in the form of vouchers that they spend with the farmer-vendors to buy fresh produce. (Maximum Market Match offered per person per market day varies by location, between $5-$20).
“This is the best thing ever. I only get $15/month but I spend it all here- I get one and a half times my money and it’s all healthy stuff. You don’t have to be wealthy to eat well!” – Janet
The positive impact of Market Match is multi-dimensional and cumulative.
1) Market Match motivates low-income families to spend their CalFresh benefits at farmers’ markets where they are much more likely to purchase healthy foods, as opposed to the shopping experience at most convenience stores or grocery stores where they have to wade through a sea of potato chips, sodas, and processed food “stuff”.
2) Market Match helps stretch their food budget. The average CalFresh benefit per person is only $149/month, or less than $5/day (many people receive much less). Market Match helps them in a very practical way, to get the food they need to stave off hunger without having to rely on cheap empty calories from junk food.
3)By spending more of their CalFresh benefits and their Market Match with small and midsize California growers that sell at farmers’ markets, these funds help support our farmer families and keep these funds in our local economy, rather than flowing out into the pockets of CEOs of mega-corporations.
4) The economic development potential is huge. By bringing more funds to our farmers’ markets, we help make them more sustainable. There is ample evidence that farmers’ markets have a positive economic impact on the community and businesses that surround them. And the farmer vendors take the money from their sales back to their own communities, which helps inject funds into struggling rural economies as well.
Visit fmfinder.org for an interactive map of farmers’ markets currently offering Market Match incentives in Sacramento and Yolo Counties.
Market Match is offered for a limited time until all funds are exhausted.
Market Match Facts and Figures:
In 2015, the state-wide Market Match program generated nearly $2.5 million in additional farmer take-home revenue at participating farmers’ markets. Alchemist CDC facilitates the use of Market Match at 20 farmers’ markets and farm stands across Sacramento and Yolo counties. In 2016, Alchemist CDC’s Market Match program brought an extra $94,000+ in Market Match sales to local farmers, on top of the additional CalFresh and cash dollars spent by the new CalFresh customers.
So far in 2017, Market Match spending is on the rise.
In 2016, Alchemist CDC has helped attract over 2,500 new CalFresh customers to take advantage of the Market Match Program and over 10,500 repeat customers coming back to receive and use Market Match dollars again!
Alchemist CDC is administering Market Match in Sacramento and Yolo Counties in partnership with California Market Match Consortium and the Ecology Center, with funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Dignity Health and contributions from individuals and farmers’ market operators. To make a donation to Market Match, click on the “donate” button to the right and add “Market Match” in the comments section.