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).
Market Match has proven results; helping families to eat better and farmers to sustain their operations.
While grant funding only allows Market Match to operate during certain months of the year, CalFresh customers can use their benefits at farmers’ markets throughout the year. In the first 11 months of 2014, Fresh Approach’s partner farmers’ markets served over 3500 CalFresh customers.
The CalFresh customers who shopped at Fresh Approach’s partner farmers’ markets conducted nearly 10,000 transactions in 2014, an average of 2.7 transactions per CalFresh customer. Many of these customers first shopped at a farmers’ market because of the Market Match incentive.
Nearly 5,000 of the CalFresh transactions qualified for the Market Match incentives – 49.2% of all CalFresh transactions – were matched in 2014. Market Match incentives were distibuted for transactions of $10 or more, during specified months, but limited to one incentive per customer, per farmers’ market, per day.
The Market Match incentives helped CalFresh consumers to increase their buying power by nearly $25,000. All of this additional spending was for fresh fruits and vegetables, all purchased from California farmers. USDA estimates an economic impact of $1.79 for every $1.00 of CalFresh (SNAP at the federal level) of benefits. At this rate, the economic impact of the Market Match incentives in 2014 was over $43,500.
Market Match increases the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that CalFresh consumers are able to purchase, helping them to add more healthful items to their diets. Over 70% of CalFresh consumers reported they ate more fresh fruits and vegetables as a result of Market Match.
Market Match also increases the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that CalFresh customers purchased: 42% said they purchased “many” different kinds and 37% said they purchased “some” different kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables with their Market Match incentives. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is an important component of a healthy diet.
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). Statewide, in 2012, California farmers in CMMC farmers’ markets had EBT sales of nearly $880,000 in 2012, a 43%, increase from 2011 revenue and a 171% increase from the pilot year in 2009. Learn more in the report, “SNAPing up Benefits for Farmers and Shoppers.”