ANNOUNCEMENT! The Downtown SC Market is offering the MARKET MATCH DOUBLE UP SPECIAL ongoing in 2020, until funds are exhausted, thanks to the City of Santa Cruz! Read on for details.
The DOUBLE MATCH program offers two Market Match tokens for every EBT token for the first ten dollars of EBT. Ten dollars of EBT becomes $30 at the farmers markets – $10 of EBT tokens and $20 in Market Match tokens. EBT and Market Match transactions have nearly doubled during this program in past years demonstrating a substantial impact. We’re so glad to be able to offer it.
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 (MM) Program is available at all five of our markets – Felton, Downtown, Scotts Valley, Westside and Live Oak in 2020. We have been working hard to expand this program to the Downtown Market and this year it’s happening. The Program 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 as the match maxes out at ten dollars. These matching dollars can be used to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits only.
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.
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 raise funds for Market Match incentive dollars. SCCFM has also pledged funding which has boosted support for the Market Match program at various markets.
ANNOUNCEMENT: We have been informed that the California Department of Food and Agriculture declined to fund the Senior Voucher Program in 2020 due to COVID-19. The Seniors Council, which facilitates the program in Santa Cruz County, is confident that the program will resume in 2021. We are sad to report this new and encourage seniors who are eligible to access our EBT/Market Match programs which are more robust this year.
When the Senior Voucher Program resumes in 2021 the Senior Council will be distributing vouchers at the Downtown, Live Oak and Felton markets 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.