California Market Match Consortium

The California Market Match Consortium’s goal was to improve the sales of specialty crops in California, increase healthy food access and address food insecurity.  The time frame of this project was 2009 to 2013 and involved 12 Consortium Partners.

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The California Market Match Consortium (CMMC) was a ROC project from 2009-2013 that sought to solve multiple food system problems through seemingly simple solutions. We proposed to improve the sales of specialty crops in California, increase healthy food access, and address food insecurity, by doubling the value of federal nutrition benefit dollars at farmers markets throughout California. We called this program Market Match.We are proud to report that by the end of the pilot program’s run, the CMMC brought farm-fresh food within closer reach for nearly 40,000 CalFresh and WIC customers, and connected close to 1000 California fruit, vegetable and nut farmers with a completely new and unexpected customer base. Benefit customers saw either $5 or $10 double when used at participating markets.ROC commissioned a research report, written by Farmers’ Markets America, which closely examines the impact of Market Match on farmers, on low-income shoppers and on farmers markets themselves. Called “SNAPing Up Benefits for Farmers and Shoppers,” it confirmed that the return on investment for a statewide Market Match program is enormous.Thanks to the tremendous effort of our twelve founding partners in the Market Match Consortium, we were able to prove that a win-win in our food system IS possible for both low-income communities and small to mid-scale farmers. In 2013, Market Match participants saw EBT sales of almost $1.5 million, a 67% increase from the prior year.Our Market Match pilot even caught the attention of Congress. With our allies at Wholesome Wave, Fair Food Network and Market Umbrella, we successfully convinced legislators to include a $100M Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives grant program in the 2014 Farm Bill.Market Match will expand to 150 California farmers markets in 17 counties in 2014.  We are certain that this growth and success will continue as our allies at the Ecology Center take over the coordination of this project.The report and its executive summary are available for download:

NOTE:The Ecology Center has officially assumed the coordinating and oversight functions for Market Match in 2013. For more information please contact: The Ecology Center