ROC conceived the California Market Match Consortium (CMMC) to exemplify a central tenet of its theory of change: actions to improve the food system should seek to solve multiple problems simultaneously. The CMMC was designed to fulfill three goals: 1) to expand the income of small and medium-sized fruit and vegetable growers; 2) to increase access to fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables for underserved communities that suffer disproportionately from nutrition-related diseases using food assistance programs (e.g. SNAP, WIC FMNP, Senior FMNP, Women, Infants and Children FVC and Social Security Income); and 3) to demonstrate the power and efficacy of coordinated statewide action by a team of motivated community-based organizations.
In 2009, the California Department of Food and Agriculture awarded ROC $500,000 to launch the CMMC. This was the first of four CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grants that eventually totaled $1.9 million. In the four years of the pilot phase, the consortium catalyzed 150 farmers markets in 16 counties to increase the consumption of fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables by 37,000 low-income families, while building sales for nearly 900 fruit, nut and vegetables farmers. To provide the incentives, participating markets offered matching money in the form of scrip to nutrition benefit customers that dedicated a portion of their benefit dollars to healthy fresh produce. A typical CMMC market offers a $10 to $20 match insuring that low-income consumers can access $20 to $40 worth of fresh produce each time they visit a farmers market.
At the end of 2013, ROC passed CMMC leadership to the Ecology Center based on its vision and commitment to expand the program to all of California’s 800 farmers markets.
- Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA)
- Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM)
- Alchemist Community Development Corporation (ACDC)
- Ecology Center
- Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission (FCEOC)
- Hunger Action Los Angeles
- North Coast Growers Association (NCGA)
- Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA)
- Phat Beets
- Puente de la Costa Sur
- Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA)
- Visalia Farmers’ Market