Incorporated on April 22, 1970, the Ecology Center is a 501c(3) nonprofit with 50 employees, a $4.7M annual budget and a broad base of community partners. Ecology Center’s mission is to inspire and build a sustainable, healthy, and just future for the East Bay, California, and beyond.
We address critical issues through a model of education, demonstration, replication, and advocacy. We envision a world where human activity nurtures the ecosystems that we all depend on — a world of sustainable cities; empowered, resilient communities; zero waste and zero toxics; equal access to healthy food; sustainable resource use; and a safe and stable climate.
Since 2013, the Ecology Center has led Market Match, a unique and collaborative program; convened and coordinated the California Market Match Consortium; and provided overall programmatic direction.
The Ecology Center’s role in Market Match
- Convenes the California Market Match Consortium quarterly calls and annual Market Match Face-to-Face meeting in order to effectively exchange best practices, facilitate discussion, and train new and returning CMMC partners.
- On-boards new Market Match partners by providing training, technical assistance, tools, and promotional materials.
- Provides centralized fundraising and grant administration.
- Develops centralized promotional strategy, tools, and materials to promote the Market Match program statewide.
- Maintains publicly-available map and schedule of farmers’ markets that offer Market Match, in addition to the markets that accept EBT, and all other certified farmers’ markets in California (FMFinder.org).
- Encourages and facilitates regional collaboration amongst partners who run Market Match programs in adjacent geographical areas.
- Streamlines data collection and reporting tools; Aggregates statewide data.
- Manages program evaluation in partnership with Nutrition Policy Institute.
- Advocates for policies and legislation that strengthen the Market Match program.
- Operates Market Match at our three Berkeley Farmers’ Markets.
In to the future, the Ecology Center is working with the California Market Match Consortium to:
- Bring Market Match to every region of the state in order to increase the purchase of farm-direct fruits and vegetables by low-income California consumers participating in SNAP.
- Develop and test technological innovations that improve benefit redemption systems for use at direct-sales outlets, including farmers’ markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and Community Supported Agriculture outlets.
- Evaluate overall program efficacy and specific programmatic elements, such as optimal incentive level.