In June 2015, Heart of the City Farmers Market launched its first ever Market Match program thanks to the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant, a new partnership with Ecology Center, and three generous community sponsors: Kaiser Permanente, Bi-Rite Market, and PES Environmental, Inc.
During its first year, Heart of the City's Market Match program matched all EBT card purchases up to $7 with extra dollars to shop for fruits and vegetables. Low-income shoppers were able to double their spending power each market day thanks to funding secured through this program. We are proud to report that $225,000 was distributed as Market Match dollars during the first year of the program, stretching limited food budgets and bringing a much-needed source of additional revenue for our small farmers.
Heart of the City Farmers Market has secured funding to continue the Market Match program for another year. EBT customers' purchases will be matched up to $5 each day they shop with our farmers until April 2017. Over $200,000 in funding has been secured to provide this extra support to EBT customers struggling to afford fresh produce in a city with the highest cost of living in the nation.