The Market Match program was founded in 2009 by partner, Roots of Change (ROC). Since that time, the Market Match program’s primary funder has been the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. This funding has helped to incentivize low-income shoppers to spend their benefits on California-grown fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and become life-long shoppers.
The program began with just a handful of partners — market operators and community-based organizations spread out across the state. ROC asked these leaders to design the SNAP healthy food incentive program that best fit both their community needs and their organization’s capacity. This was the beginning of what is now a thriving community of practice: the California Market Match Consortium (CMMC).
In late 2012, Roots of Change partnered with the Ecology Center to transition the program’s oversight, leadership, and convening of the CMMC. The Ecology Center had been a Consortium member since 2011 and came to the table with 25 years experience operating farmers markets, over ten years assisting markets establish CalFresh EBT access, and providing leadership for the newly formed California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets.
Since 2009, when Market Match was offered at 44 markets, the CMMC has grown significantly. Now Market Match is offered at over 290 sites statewide. The Ecology Center’s goal is to continue to grow the Market Match program, working with partners and funders to bring Market Match to every region of the state.