All SCCFM markets accept EBT, WIC and Senior Nutrition Coupons. Locate the information booth and a market manager can process your EBT card and give you tokens to use at the farmers’ markets. Tokens have a value of $1 and there is no change given. EBT stands for Electronic Benefit Transfer and is the method for distributing CalFresh benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps and currently known federally as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits), California Food Assistance Program benefits, and cash aid benefits.
The Market Match Program is available at the Live Oak and Felton markets and offers farmers’ market customers with CalFresh (EBT/SNAP) cards a dollar-for-dollar match up to ten dollars. For example, if a CalFresh customer swipes their card for ten dollars they receive ten additional dollars in script at no charge. A seven dollar swipe equals a seven dollar match. A fifteen dollar swipe equals a ten dollar match. These matching dollars can be used to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits only.
The match program will run through the 2017 season. The goal of this project is to encourage CalFresh (EBT/SNAP) recipients to take advantage of fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. By offering an incentive that makes fresh produce more accessible, we are helping shoppers stretch their food dollars while keeping their families healthy.
ANNOUNCEMENT! In recognition of CalFresh Awareness Month the Felton and Live Oak markets are once again offering a DOUBLE MATCH program during the month of MAY, or until funds are exhausted, offering two Market Match tokens for every EBT token up to ten dollars. Ten dollars of EBT becomes thirty dollars at the Felton and Live Oak markets in May. EBT and Market Match transactions at these two markets nearly doubled between 2015 and 2016 (the pilot year) suggesting that this program has a substantial impact. Onsite CalFresh application assistance will be available. Thank you to the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department and Second Harvest Food Bank for making it possible!
History of the Market Match Program
The Market Match program is managed statewide by Roots of Change. In addition to SCCFM, ten other Market Match partners — known collectively as the California Farmers’ Market Consortium – are working to increase access to fresh and healthy foods for low-income consumers at local farmers’ markets. All of the Market Match partners are dedicated to increasing the incomes of California farmers by expanding access for low-income communities. This program stimulates the local food economy while supporting community health and food security.
The Market Match program is made possible through two general funding sources, a Specialty Crop Block Grant offered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and philanthropic efforts that fundraise for Market Match incentive dollars. SCCFM has also pledged funding which has boosted support for the Market Match program at our Felton market.
The Seniors Council will be distributing senior vouchers at the Downtown, Live Oak and Felton Markets at some point in the summer. Seniors who qualify (based on age and income) will receive a booklet with $20 in vouchers. The vouchers can be used to purchase fresh vegetables and fruit at the farmers’ markets. We will post dates here as soon as we know the 2017 schedule.