Watch this page for progress reports and calls to action.
With your help we surpassed our goal and generated over 60 letters of support to the California Assembly Committee on Agriculture for AB 2385 by our deadline of April 22, 2014. Thank you!!!
The Committee hearing for the bill will be on April 30th in the afternoon. If we win the vote in the Ag Committee it is on to the Appropriations Committee.
We will keep you apprised of progress and let you know if we need you to call or write members of the Legislature.
About the Bill
Sponsored by Roots of Change and authored by Assembly Member Phil Ting (San Francisco), AB 2385 creates the Market Match Nutrition Incentive Program within the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This program will provide grants for farmers markets and potentially other direct producer-to-consumer venues (CSA, farm stands or corner stores) that are helping low-income people to afford healthy, fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables.
About the Market Match Program
The proposed program builds off two platforms for change. First, a pilot Market Match program serving 37,000 families and nearly 900 farms selling produce in 140 markets across the state, which ROC launched with fourteen partners in 2009. The other is a new federal Farm Bill provision called the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program that could provide California with as much as $2 million a year in grant funds if we can generate the required matching funds from within our state. AB 2385 is step toward ensuring California can draw down the federal money using public and private sources.
Markets participating in the Market Match program provide nutrition benefit clients using SNAP (food stamp), SSDI, SSI, WIC or Senior Farmers Market vegetable vouchers with an incentive to buy healthy fruits, nuts and vegetables. For example, if a SNAP recipient spends $10 from their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, the farmers market gives them an additional $10 in Market Match funds. The low income shopper doubles their purchasing power. That is good for the health of the shopper’s family and it is also good for the small farmers working the markets who sell more produce.
In January 2013, ROC passed leadership of the Market Match program to our key partner, Ecology Center, which is now working to take the program to all 800 certified farmers markets in California. ROC is focused in supporting that expansion through policy change in collaboration with members of the CA Food Policy Council and nonprofits from across the nation.
We hope you will agree that by connecting low-income shoppers and small farmers through Market Match all Californians benefit. Our state’s most vulnerable families are healthier (thereby lowering healthcare costs for us all) and our local farmers who are the foundation for resilient local food systems become more economically sound.
To review results from ROC’s four-year Market Match pilot program, please see these pdf copies of the final report, principly authored by Vance Corum of Farmers Markets America:
Current supportors of AB 2385
- Adams/Vermont & Gardena Farmers Markets
- Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (Central Coast)
- California Farm Bureau Federation
- California Food Policy Advocates
- California Grange
- California Hunger Action Coalition
- California Partnership
- Center for Food Safety (National)
- Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture (San Francisco)
- Charles R. Drew University College of Medicine & Science (Los Angeles)
- City of Compton – Blue Line Farmers Market
- City of Santa Monica – Pico Farmers Market
- City Slicker Farms (Oakland)
- Coastside Farmers Markets (Half Moon Bay)
- Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CA)
- Community Health Councils Inc. (Los Angeles Co.)
- Contra Costa Certified Farmers Markets Inc.
- Craig McNamara (Farmer & President State Board of Food and Agriculture) (Solano Co.)
- Crescent City Farmers Market
- Ecology Center (CA)
- The Farmers Guild (CA)
- Farm Fresh to You & Capay Organic (Yolo Co.)
- Farm to Pantry (Sonoma Co.)
- Food Chain Workers Alliance (National)
- Fully Belly Farm (Yolo Co.)
- The Greener Good Farmers Market (Long Beach)
- Harbor Area Farmers Market (Long Beach)
- Heart of the City Farmers Market (San Francisco)
- The Hens Roost (Bakersfield)
- Homeless Health Care Los Angeles
- Hunger Action Los Angeles
- Inner City Struggle (Los Angeles)
- International Rescue Committee (National)
- Jess Peterson (Sebastopol)
- Kern County Network for Children (Kern Co.)
- Locally Delicious (Arcata)
- Los Angeles Community Action Network
- Mar Vista Farmers Market (Los Angeles)
- Marin County Food Policy Council
- Mendocino County Farmers Market Association
- Mission Community Market (San Francisco)
- North Coast Growers Association (Humboldt Co.)
- Oakland Food Policy Council
- Orange County Food Access Coalition
- Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association (San Francisco Bay Area)
- People’s Grocery (Oakland)
- Phat Beets Produce (Oakland)
- Point Reyes Farmers Market
- Public Health Institute (National)
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno
- Richard Rominger (Farmer & Former Secretary CDFA & Deputy Secretary USDA) (Yolo Co.)
- Roots of Change (CA)
- San Diego Hunger Coalition
- San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance
- Slow Food California
- Social Justice Learning Institute (Inglewood)
- Sprouts of Promise (Santa Monica)
- Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles
- St. Anthony’s Foundation (San Francisco)
- St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Bakersfield)
- Thai Community Development Center (Los Angeles)
- United Way of Kern County
- Valley Farmers’ Market Association (Lindsay)
- VELA, Inc. (East Los Angeles)
- The Visalia Farmers Market Association
- Woman Organizing Resources, Knowledge & Services (Los Angeles)
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