Category Archives: Press Room

Press releases and media stories about PCFMA’s farmers’ markets.

Farmers Cautiously Optimistic About El Niño’s Arrival

dead and live treeAs forecasters grow more confident of a wet El Niño year ahead farmers are cautiously optimistic. Another winter of below normal precipitation could be disastrous for our state’s agricultural industry.
Regardless of whether or not the drought ends in the coming months, we believe that one of the ongoing lessons of the drought is how we are all dependent upon a finite resource whose availability is fundamentally outside of our control and how important it is to manage that resource wisely.

Four years of crippling drought has endangered the livelihoods of almost 78,000 farmers in California, but the promise of an El Niño year brings hope to drought-stricken farms. The current rain deficit has major implications for our food supply and could lead to rising prices for fruit, nuts, and other commodities. More than half of California’s agricultural crop value comes from its production of fruit and tree nuts, which is almost 60% of total US fruit and tree nut farm values, not to mention vegetable row crops. Shortages in groundwater used to irrigate will increase production costs or force farmers to reduce acreage, likely raising fruit prices for years to come.

But even the promise of a wet winter brings potential threats. Farmers hope for light to moderate rainfall over a long period of time so it can soak into the ground, without heavy rains that flood the surface and run off. Some farmers are also worried that heavy rains during the spring planting season could delay when they are able to set new crops in the ground.

Bautista fallow fieldFor the last few years, farms like Bautista Ranch in Stockton have curtailed water usage. Acreage has been sacrificed by letting fields go fallow and by not watering large sections of their orchards, causing many of their trees die.

But along with sacrificing crops, small farmers have doubled their efficiency of agricultural water use. Drip irrigation has grown rapidly and has almost replaced gravity irrigation as a method of watering crops. This will have far reaching implications for the future of California’s agriculture.

One El Niño year will not end the drought, considering it has been dry for several years, but it will certainly help the water deficit. Let’s all hope for a wetter than normal winter and spring – and a return to regular rainfall in years to come.

3rd Annual Photo Contest Is On!

LMM---IG---July-2015---Option2Join Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), the USDA, and farmers’ markets around the country in celebrating National Farmers’ Market Week this year from August 2nd to 8th. “Farmers’ markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support farmers and help grow rural economies,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “They bring communities together, connecting cities with the farms and providing Americans with fresh, healthy food.”

PCFMA will celebrate throughout the entire month of August with the 3rd annual #lovemyPCFMAmarket Photo Contest. To participate, snap a photo of what you love about your local PCFMA farmers’ market, whether it is the unusual produce, your favorite farmer, being with your family, or anything else farmers’ market related. Submit the photo to lovemymarket@pcfma.org or post the photo on your public Instagram or Facebook page using #lovemyPCFMAmarket between August 1st and August 31st. Please include the name of your farmers’ market in your email or caption. Be sure to tag us on Instagram or Facebook! Please limit one entry per person, per week. See official rules at pcfma.org/contestrules.

Contestants will have a chance to win the Grand Prize of a one-night stay for two at the Capay Valley Bed & Breakfast and tickets to the nearby Hoes Down Festival at Full Belly Farm. Second prize is two tickets to the Guest Chef Series: The Chef & The Winemaker at Wente Winery in Livermore. Third prize includes $50 in “Carrot Cash” (good at any PCFMA farmers’ market) and a reusable bag filled with fresh seasonal produce.

Come join the conversation and send us your favorite market photos!

Survey Results Reveal Concern for Small Farmers in Drought

EmailHeader-for-droughtAs the drought continues to worsen, many water-use limitations and regulations are being enforced upon all California residents and businesses – including the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions. Many California residents are arguing that agriculture is not being held to the same water restriction standards. Popular media sources have published that agriculture uses about 80% of the state’s surface water, in most cases irresponsibly. Meanwhile, many in the agricultural industry wonder if communities are fully “doing their part” in reducing residential water-use.

Recognizing these two contrasting views and sentiments, Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) hopes to help bridge the gap by organizing a campaign that opens a dialogue between communities (farmers’ market shoppers) and agriculture (PCFMA’s farmers), allowing for a greater understanding of how both groups are working to conserve water. In addition, PCFMA hopes to educate the public on how small California farms are responsibly adapting to become more efficient with the state’s most precious resource, and are struggling to survive due to the lack of sufficient funds and access to water. Supporting these water-conscious, small farms by shopping at your local farmers’ market is a simple means of helping the state better endure this historic drought.

Before PCFMA could develop its campaign, a survey was needed to research and gauge the farmers’ market customers’ interest and concern for the drought and the role small farms play. The short online survey was distributed through a majority of PCFMA’s e-newsletter lists and social media outlets, concluding with over 1,400 responses.

PCFMA found that farmers’ market shoppers are aware of the drought, but are unaware of and would like to learn more about the water saving methods currently being used by California’s small farms.

  • 98% of respondents reported that they are aware of the drought and 80% of those responses indicated a “very aware” level. Survey results also revealed that a majority of the respondents believe California agriculture uses between 61-80% of the state’s water each year.
  • In spite of how much water farmers’ market shoppers believe agriculture to use, 90% of respondents still find it important to support small California farms during this difficult time. This is reflected by a Santa Teresa Farmers’ Market shopper who said, “If consumers were more aware that small family farmers are taking steps to conserve water, it would become another selling point – purchasing locally-grown, responsibly-watered produce.”
  • The fear of potentially losing small farms due to the drought was clearly conveyed by farmers’ market shoppers throughout the survey.   72% of respondents are conscious of the impacts of drought on small farms with 90% aware of reduction in operations and 76% aware of the loss of jobs. A big concern of 92% of respondents is the threat of small farms being bought up or operated by large corporate farming ventures. A shopper who frequents the E. Santa Clara St. Farmers’ Market stated that she is most anxious about “a reduction in crop diversity, a reduction in sustainable/organic/non-GMO options, and an increase in produce prices,” which summarizes the main concerns expressed by most of our respondents.
  • 84% of respondents are interested in learning more about how farmers are doing their part to conserve water, and 78% are interested in learning how they can save water themselves in their own home and garden.

It is encouraging to see that there is an awareness of the potential effects of losing small California farms due to the drought. From this information, PCFMA is developing a campaign in which farmers who participate in PCFMA’s farmers’ markets will share their stories with the public, open a conversation on how small California farms are working to be more water-responsible, and create an understanding of how collectively consumers and agriculture can be a solution to the over-consumption of our state’s precious water resources. A Castro Farmers’ Market customer said that there should be a “fair, full voice” for small farms and PCFMA can help amplify that voice.

If you belong to a group, organization, or company that has nonpartisan, drought-related information or demonstrations and would like to be featured at any of our markets or shared through PCFMA’s drought education efforts, please contact Alyssia Plata, PCFMA Marketing Specialist at drought@pcfma.org.

New USDA Grant Will Significantly Increase Food Access in the Bay Area

CalFresh Matched At Local PCFMA Farmers’ Markets

Concord, CA (April 1, 2015) – The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), in partnership with the Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA, is pleased to be among the organizations that will benefit from a $3.7 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This grant will allow PCFMA to match CalFresh (formally known as food stamps) purchases dollar-for-dollar for the next two years through the Market Match program, increasing access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables for over 5,000 low-income families across 60 farmers’ markets in the Bay Area.

The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association has been offering Market Match incentives to CalFresh customers in its farmers’ markets since 2009, but was limited to providing an extra $5 in free produce after customers spend at least $10 in the farmers’ market, and for only a few months out of the year. With the FINI Grant, PCFMA will be able to double the buying power of CalFresh by matching redemptions up to $10 year-round for the next two years. They hope to have the program up and running at their farmers’ markets in early May. The combined impact of CalFresh and Market Match purchases could exceed $700,000 across all PCFMA farmers’ markets over that time.

Allen Moy, PCFMA’s Executive Director, says, “I can’t think of a single program that has had a more significant impact upon California farmers in farmers’ markets than Market Match. Market Match increases access to healthy food for low income families, increases fresh produce sales for California farmers, and spurs economic activity in the farmers’ home communities. It is a trifecta among community benefit programs.”

PCFMA expects the FINI grant to assist in forming and maintaining healthy habits in individuals and families who otherwise would not have easy accessibility to fresh, healthy food options. Distributing Market Match year-round will provide an incentive for these individuals to keep shopping the farmers’ market past the usual October benefits cut-off date, resulting in a higher long-term retention rate. CalFresh customers in PCFMA’s farmers’ markets reported that due to the Market Match program, 72% of them increased the variety of fruits and vegetables they consumed in 2014. Providing Market Match benefits consistently throughout the year with dollar-for-dollar matching will encourage recipients to visit the farmers’ market and redeem their benefits at an even higher rate in 2015.

The CalFresh Program, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides financial support to improve the nutrition of low-income individuals and families by increasing their accessibility to fresh and healthy food options. CalFresh benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association exchanges CalFresh-EBT transactions for market scrip, matching the withdrawn amount through the Market Match Program.

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New USDA Grant Will Significantly Increase Food Access in Vallejo

CalFresh Matched At Local PCFMA Farmers’ Market

Concord, CA (April 1, 2015) – The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), operator of the Vallejo Farmers’ Market on Georgia and Marin St., in partnership with the Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA, is pleased to be among the organizations that will benefit from a Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This grant will allow PCFMA to match CalFresh (formally known as food stamps) purchases dollar-for-dollar for the next two years through the Market Match program, increasing access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables for over 5,000 low-income families across 60 farmers’ markets in the Bay Area.

The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association has been offering Market Match incentives to CalFresh customers in its farmers’ markets since 2009, but was limited to providing an extra $5 in free produce after customers spend at least $10 in the farmers’ market, and for only a few months out of the year. With the FINI Grant, PCFMA will be able to double the buying power of CalFresh by matching redemptions up to $10 year-round for the next two years. They hope to have the program up and running at the Vallejo Farmers’ Market in early May. The combined impact of CalFresh and Market Match purchases could exceed $700,000 across all PCFMA farmers’ markets over that time.

The economic impact of both CalFresh and Market Match due to the FINI grant on the Vallejo Farmers’ Market alone is projected to be $98,000 over the two years. Allen Moy, PCFMA’s Executive Director, says, “I can’t think of a single program that has had a more significant impact upon California farmers in farmers’ markets than Market Match. Market Match increases access to healthy food for low income families, increases fresh produce sales for California farmers, and spurs economic activity in the farmers’ home communities. It is a trifecta among community benefit programs.”

PCFMA expects the FINI grant to assist in forming and maintaining healthy habits in individuals and families who otherwise would not have easy accessibility to fresh, healthy food options. Distributing Market Match year-round will provide an incentive for these individuals to keep shopping the farmers’ market past the usual October benefits cut-off date, resulting in a higher long-term retention rate. CalFresh customers in PCFMA’s farmers’ markets reported that due to the Market Match program, 72% of them increased the variety of fruits and vegetables they consumed in 2014. Providing Market Match benefits consistently throughout the year with dollar-for-dollar matching will encourage recipients to visit the farmers’ market and redeem their benefits at an even higher rate in 2015.

The CalFresh Program, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides financial support to improve the nutrition of low-income individuals and families by increasing their accessibility to fresh and healthy food options. CalFresh benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association exchanges CalFresh-EBT transactions for market scrip, matching the withdrawn amount through the Market Match Program.

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New USDA Grant Will Significantly Increase Food Access in San Leandro

CalFresh Matched At Local PCFMA Farmers’ Market

Concord, CA (April 1, 2015) – The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), operator of the Downtown San Leandro Farmers’ Market on Parrott St. and E. 14th St., in partnership with the Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA, is pleased to be among the organizations that will benefit from a $3.7 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This grant will allow PCFMA to match CalFresh (formally known as food stamps) purchases dollar-for-dollar for the next two years through the Market Match program, increasing access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables for over 5,000 low-income families across 60 farmers’ markets in the Bay Area.

The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association has been offering Market Match incentives to CalFresh customers in its farmers’ markets since 2009, but was limited to providing an extra $5 in free produce after customers spend at least $10 in the farmers’ market, and for only a few months out of the year. With the FINI Grant, PCFMA will be able to double the buying power of CalFresh by matching redemptions up to $10 year-round for the next two years. They hope to have the program up and running at the Downtown San Leandro Farmers’ Market in early May. The combined impact of CalFresh and Market Match purchases could exceed $700,000 across all PCFMA farmers’ markets over that time.

The economic impact of both CalFresh and Market Match due to the FINI grant on the Downtown San Leandro Farmers’ Market alone is projected to be $27,000 over the two years. Allen Moy, PCFMA’s Executive Director, says, “I can’t think of a single program that has had a more significant impact upon California farmers in farmers’ markets than Market Match. Market Match increases access to healthy food for low income families, increases fresh produce sales for California farmers, and spurs economic activity in the farmers’ home communities. It is a trifecta among community benefit programs.”

PCFMA expects the FINI grant to assist in forming and maintaining healthy habits in individuals and families who otherwise would not have easy accessibility to fresh, healthy food options. Distributing Market Match year-round will provide an incentive for these individuals to keep shopping the farmers’ market past the usual October benefits cut-off date, resulting in a higher long-term retention rate. CalFresh customers in PCFMA’s farmers’ markets reported that due to the Market Match program, 72% of them increased the variety of fruits and vegetables they consumed in 2014. Providing Market Match benefits consistently throughout the year with dollar-for-dollar matching will encourage recipients to visit the farmers’ market and redeem their benefits at an even higher rate in 2015.

The CalFresh Program, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides financial support to improve the nutrition of low-income individuals and families by increasing their accessibility to fresh and healthy food options. CalFresh benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association exchanges CalFresh-EBT transactions for market scrip, matching the withdrawn amount through the Market Match Program.

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New USDA Grant Will Significantly Increase Food Access in Richmond

CalFresh Matched At Local PCFMA Farmers’ Market

Concord, CA (April 1, 2015) – The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), operator of the Richmond Main St. Farmers’ Market at the Nevin Plaza between 13th St. and Nevin Ave., in partnership with the Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA, is pleased to be among the organizations that will benefit from a $3.7 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This grant will allow PCFMA to match CalFresh (formally known as food stamps) purchases dollar-for-dollar for the next two years through the Market Match program, increasing access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables for over 5,000 low-income families across 60 farmers’ markets in the Bay Area.

The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association has been offering Market Match incentives to CalFresh customers in its farmers’ markets since 2009, but was limited to providing an extra $5 in free produce after customers spend at least $10 in the farmers’ market, and for only a few months out of the year. With the FINI Grant, PCFMA will be able to double the buying power of CalFresh by matching redemptions up to $10 year-round for the next two years. They hope to have the program up and running at the Richmond Main St. Farmers’ Market in early May. The combined impact of CalFresh and Market Match purchases could exceed $700,000 across all PCFMA farmers’ markets over that time.

The economic impact of both CalFresh and Market Match due to the FINI grant on the Richmond Main St. Farmers’ Market alone is projected to be $5,000 over the two years. Allen Moy, PCFMA’s Executive Director, says, “I can’t think of a single program that has had a more significant impact upon California farmers in farmers’ markets than Market Match. Market Match increases access to healthy food for low income families, increases fresh produce sales for California farmers, and spurs economic activity in the farmers’ home communities. It is a trifecta among community benefit programs.”

PCFMA expects the FINI grant to assist in forming and maintaining healthy habits in individuals and families who otherwise would not have easy accessibility to fresh, healthy food options. Distributing Market Match year-round will provide an incentive for these individuals to keep shopping the farmers’ market past the usual October benefits cut-off date, resulting in a higher long-term retention rate. CalFresh customers in PCFMA’s farmers’ markets reported that due to the Market Match program, 72% of them increased the variety of fruits and vegetables they consumed in 2014. Providing Market Match benefits consistently throughout the year with dollar-for-dollar matching will encourage recipients to visit the farmers’ market and redeem their benefits at an even higher rate in 2015.

The CalFresh Program, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides financial support to improve the nutrition of low-income individuals and families by increasing their accessibility to fresh and healthy food options. CalFresh benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association exchanges CalFresh-EBT transactions for market scrip, matching the withdrawn amount through the Market Match Program.

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New USDA Grant Will Significantly Increase Food Access in Oakland

CalFresh Matched At Local PCFMA Farmers’ Market

Concord, CA (April 1, 2015) – The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), operator of the Jack London Square Farmers’ Market on Webster and Water St., in partnership with the Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA, is pleased to be among the organizations that will benefit from a $3.7 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This grant will allow PCFMA to match CalFresh (formally known as food stamps) purchases dollar-for-dollar for the next two years through the Market Match program, increasing access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables for over 5,000 low-income families across 60 farmers’ markets in the Bay Area.

The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association has been offering Market Match incentives to CalFresh customers in its farmers’ markets since 2009, but was limited to providing an extra $5 in free produce after customers spend at least $10 in the farmers’ market, and for only a few months out of the year. With the FINI Grant, PCFMA will be able to double the buying power of CalFresh by matching redemptions up to $10 year-round for the next two years. They hope to have the program up and running at the Jack London Square Farmers’ Market in early May. The combined impact of CalFresh and Market Match purchases could exceed $700,000 across all PCFMA farmers’ markets over that time.

The economic impact of both CalFresh and Market Match due to the FINI grant on the Jack London Square Farmers’ Market alone is projected to be $45,000 over the two years. Allen Moy, PCFMA’s Executive Director, says, “I can’t think of a single program that has had a more significant impact upon California farmers in farmers’ markets than Market Match. Market Match increases access to healthy food for low income families, increases fresh produce sales for California farmers, and spurs economic activity in the farmers’ home communities. It is a trifecta among community benefit programs.”

PCFMA expects the FINI grant to assist in forming and maintaining healthy habits in individuals and families who otherwise would not have easy accessibility to fresh, healthy food options. Distributing Market Match year-round will provide an incentive for these individuals to keep shopping the farmers’ market past the usual October benefits cut-off date, resulting in a higher long-term retention rate. CalFresh customers in PCFMA’s farmers’ markets reported that due to the Market Match program, 72% of them increased the variety of fruits and vegetables they consumed in 2014. Providing Market Match benefits consistently throughout the year with dollar-for-dollar matching will encourage recipients to visit the farmers’ market and redeem their benefits at an even higher rate in 2015.

The CalFresh Program, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides financial support to improve the nutrition of low-income individuals and families by increasing their accessibility to fresh and healthy food options. CalFresh benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association exchanges CalFresh-EBT transactions for market scrip, matching the withdrawn amount through the Market Match Program.

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New USDA Grant Will Significantly Increase Food Access in Fremont

CalFresh Matched At Local PCFMA Farmers’ Market

Concord, CA (April 1, 2015) – The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), operator of the Irvington Farmers’ Market on Bay St. and Trimboli Way, in partnership with the Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA, is pleased to be among the organizations that will benefit from a $3.7 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This grant will allow PCFMA to match CalFresh (formally known as food stamps) purchases dollar-for-dollar for the next two years through the Market Match program, increasing access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables for over 5,000 low-income families across 60 farmers’ markets in the Bay Area.

The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association has been offering Market Match incentives to CalFresh customers in its farmers’ markets since 2009, but was limited to providing an extra $5 in free produce after customers spend at least $10 in the farmers’ market, and for only a few months out of the year. With the FINI Grant, PCFMA will be able to double the buying power of CalFresh by matching redemptions up to $10 year-round for the next two years. They hope to have the program up and running at the Irvington Farmers’ Market in early May. The combined impact of CalFresh and Market Match purchases could exceed $700,000 across all PCFMA farmers’ markets over that time.

The economic impact of both CalFresh and Market Match due to the FINI grant on the Irvington Farmers’ Market alone is projected to be $36,000 over the two years. Allen Moy, PCFMA’s Executive Director, says, “I can’t think of a single program that has had a more significant impact upon California farmers in farmers’ markets than Market Match. Market Match increases access to healthy food for low income families, increases fresh produce sales for California farmers, and spurs economic activity in the farmers’ home communities. It is a trifecta among community benefit programs.”

PCFMA expects the FINI grant to assist in forming and maintaining healthy habits in individuals and families who otherwise would not have easy accessibility to fresh, healthy food options. Distributing Market Match year-round will provide an incentive for these individuals to keep shopping the farmers’ market past the usual October benefits cut-off date, resulting in a higher long-term retention rate. CalFresh customers in PCFMA’s farmers’ markets reported that due to the Market Match program, 72% of them increased the variety of fruits and vegetables they consumed in 2014. Providing Market Match benefits consistently throughout the year with dollar-for-dollar matching will encourage recipients to visit the farmers’ market and redeem their benefits at an even higher rate in 2015.

The CalFresh Program, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides financial support to improve the nutrition of low-income individuals and families by increasing their accessibility to fresh and healthy food options. CalFresh benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association exchanges CalFresh-EBT transactions for market scrip, matching the withdrawn amount through the Market Match Program.

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New USDA Grant Will Significantly Increase Food Access in Cupertino

CalFresh Matched At Local PCFMA Farmers’ Market

Concord, CA (April 1, 2015) – The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), operator of the Vallco Farmers’ Market at Stevens Creek Blvd. and N. Wolfe Rd., in partnership with the Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA, is pleased to be among the organizations that will benefit from a $3.7 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This grant will allow PCFMA to match CalFresh (formally known as food stamps) purchases dollar-for-dollar for the next two years through the Market Match program, increasing access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables for over 5,000 low-income families across 60 farmers’ markets in the Bay Area.

The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association has been offering Market Match incentives to CalFresh customers in its farmers’ markets since 2009, but was limited to providing an extra $5 in free produce after customers spend at least $10 in the farmers’ market, and for only a few months out of the year. With the FINI Grant, PCFMA will be able to double the buying power of CalFresh by matching redemptions up to $10 year-round for the next two years. They hope to have the program up and running at the Vallco Farmers’ Market in early May. The combined impact of CalFresh and Market Match purchases could exceed $700,000 across all PCFMA farmers’ markets over that time.

The economic impact of both CalFresh and Market Match due to the FINI grant on the Vallco Farmers’ Market alone is projected to be $24,000 over the two years. Allen Moy, PCFMA’s Executive Director, says, “I can’t think of a single program that has had a more significant impact upon California farmers in farmers’ markets than Market Match. Market Match increases access to healthy food for low income families, increases fresh produce sales for California farmers, and spurs economic activity in the farmers’ home communities. It is a trifecta among community benefit programs.”

PCFMA expects the FINI grant to assist in forming and maintaining healthy habits in individuals and families who otherwise would not have easy accessibility to fresh, healthy food options. Distributing Market Match year-round will provide an incentive for these individuals to keep shopping the farmers’ market past the usual October benefits cut-off date, resulting in a higher long-term retention rate. CalFresh customers in PCFMA’s farmers’ markets reported that due to the Market Match program, 72% of them increased the variety of fruits and vegetables they consumed in 2014. Providing Market Match benefits consistently throughout the year with dollar-for-dollar matching will encourage recipients to visit the farmers’ market and redeem their benefits at an even higher rate in 2015.

The CalFresh Program, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides financial support to improve the nutrition of low-income individuals and families by increasing their accessibility to fresh and healthy food options. CalFresh benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association exchanges CalFresh-EBT transactions for market scrip, matching the withdrawn amount through the Market Match Program.

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