The Colusa Certified Farmers Market plans to continue offering the Market Match program at the seasonal market this year thanks to a grant from the Ecology Center of Berkeley.
According to a press release issued by the Colusa Certified Farmers Market, these carefully targeted nutrition incentives help low-income residents stretch their CalFresh shopping dollars to afford more healthy, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
“As a result, the program also supports small and mid-sized local farms – many among the most innovative in sustainable agriculture – and boosts local economy,” read the press release.
Jennifer Diaz, local Market Match program manager, said this is a big win for the county.
“Through Market Match, we directly ‘match’ – dollar for dollar – up to $10 of CalFresh Market purchases of fruit and vegetables every time that a CalFresh shopper comes to the market,” Diaz said. “The result is extra fresh produce for low-income families – and extra income for local farmers – a win for everyone in Colusa County.”
The Market Match program began in 2009 by Roots of Change. To encourage low-income shoppers to spend their CalFresh benefits on California-grown produce, the California Department of Food and Agriculture became a primary source of funding soon after. This began the California Market Match Consortium, which later transitioned into a Roots of Change and Ecology Center project at the end of 2012.
Market Match is only available at certified farmers’ markets in Colusa County, meaning that the Colusa County Agricultural Commissioner and California’s Department of Food and Agriculture Marketing Program have certified produce and other items sold by market sellers certified as California-grown, according to the press release.
Market Match is now available in more than 280 certified farmers’ market sites statewide.
Funding for the current Market Match expansion comes from a $3.9 million dollar grant form the U.S. Department of Agriculture that was distributed to the California Department of Agriculture and its new California Nutrition Incentive Program.
The Colusa Certified Farmers Market will be opening for the summer beginning June 6.
The market is opened every Thursday form 4 p.m.-7 p.m. during the summer months – June through September – and coincides with the City of Colusa’s Concert in the Park series.
The Colusa Certified Farmers Market accepts WIC, senior vouchers, and CalFresh as part of the Market Match Incentive Program.
Local vendors include Premier Mushrooms, Rosita Ranch, Ben’s Grass Fed Beef, Grindstone Wines, Jeffrey’s Ranch Pecans and O’Connell Ranch.
The Colusa Certified Farmers market is located at Veterans Memorial Park, at the corner of Market and 10th streets.
For more information, contact Jennifer Diaz at 415-994-9082.