Community members receiving CalFresh/EBT, formally known as “Food Stamps”, can now receive up to $30 free in fresh fruits and vegetables at Farmers’ Markets in Mendocino and Lake counties, this is up from a previous $15 match. The program is a win-win-win situation because our neediest community members can access more fresh, local food. Our farmers are able to sell more produce and our tax dollars return to the community.
The Market Match Program increases food security in the community by providing a dollar for dollar match for CalFresh users at local farmers’ markets. For example, when you spend $15 of CalFresh at the market on eligible food items, you can receive $15 of Market Match to spend on fruits and vegetables. Up until now, the maximum match amount has been $15- $20 depending on the market. However, just in time for the peak season at our Farmers Markets’, the maximum match has been increased to $30 for the months of September and October!
“Mendocino and Lake county markets have over $25,000 in fresh fruits and vegetable incentives to distribute to CalFresh customers before April 2017” says Stephanie Logsdon, Market Match Coordinator at North Coast Opportunities. “This abundance of incentive money from a federal grant and local funds is giving new CalFresh shoppers the opportunity to come experience the farmers’ market and get twice as much healthy food for their family, as well as give a boost to those already using the program.”
CalFresh customers are encouraged to take full advantage of the $30 match by purchasing in bulk to preserve the bounty for the winter months. Canning classes for CalFresh recipients are being planned to teach the skills of food preservation with produce purchased with Market Match.
“The market match program at the farmers’ market has helped me make sure that I have enough food to feed my family,” says Connie Suarez. “CalFresh only goes so far, the match allows me to breathe a little easier. And I love serving my family fresh fruits and vegetables.”
For more information on farmers’ market locations and dates, visit mcfarm.org for Mendocino markets and lakecountyfarmersfinest.org for the Lake market participating in Market Match. For questions about the Market Match program or to express interest in the food preservation workshops, please call 707-462-1958 or email Stephanie Logsdon. .