A 12% EBT Participation Increase Thanks to Kaiser Permanente

A generous gift of $20,000 from Kaiser Permanente has resulted in a 12% increase in the amount of fresh produce purchased at our market by EBT participants, which not only helped promote access to fresh food in a food desert but also supported small farmers at a time when local small farming is severely threatened.

Due to the high need in our community, Heart of the City Farmers Market has accepted food stamps since our very first market day 32 years ago and today our EBT (electronic benefit transfer) program is one of the largest and most successful in the country. 

Kaiser’s support has enabled us to incorporate an additional staff member on market days to meet the demands of a growing EBT Program and conduct EBT outreach to increase awareness that SNAP/CalFresh participants may use their benefits to purchase healthy food at Heart of the City Farmers Market. As a result, we saw a 12% increase in EBT participation despite our 2014 program challenges, including Federal cuts to the EBT program and decreased farm participation at our market as a result of California’s devastating drought.