Market Match provides free coupons to buy fruits and vegetables
that make it easier for Santa Monica residents to eat healthier. In the Market Match program people who receive
CalFresh (food stamps), WIC, Social Security, or SSI will receive $10 in
vouchers weekly or monthly (while supplies last) at the Virginia Avenue
Park/Pico farmers’ markets. Vouchers can only be used on fruits, vegetables and
some nuts from certified growers. You can join the program by going to the Market
Match booth and presenting proof of participation in one of the other food
Match is operated with funding from California Dept. of Food and Agriculture,
First 5 LA, Archstone Foundation, and by private donations from Hunger Action
LA, Mar Vista Farmers Market, Griffith Park Neighborhood Council and East
Hollywood Neighborhood Council (for the East Hollywood Farmers Market) and
others. The Market Match program is not a government program and is subject to
changes depending on funding available.
a list of participating markets, visit www.hungeractionla.org/marketmatch.
To follow Market Match and learn about legislative updates and how you can support funding efforts, please see the Hunger Action LA newsletter.
CalFresh (formerly SNAP, aka Food Stamps)
Come visit the Santa Monica Farmers Markets and use your Golden State Advantage EBT Card to access your CalFresh benefits! All four Santa Monica Farmers Markets accept EBT cards. It is quick and easy! Simply visit the information booth and slide your card through the point-of-sale device. Once approved, you will be issued scrip which may be spent with any farmer at the Santa Monica Farmers Markets.
CalFresh, is the new brand, name, and design for California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. The program's goal is to improve the quality of life for Californians by providing access to healthy and nutritious foods.
For more information about SNAP and the CalFresh program, visit the Department of Social Services.
Farmers Market Nutrition Program Women, Infants & Children (WIC)
In addition to accepting CalFresh benefits year round, the Santa Monica Farmers Markets accept seasonal Farmers Market Nutrition Program WIC coupons. Bring your Farmers Market Nutrition Program WIC coupons to the market and purchase directly from a farmer.
California operates the largest WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program in the nation. In 2008, 163,000 WIC families, 570 certified farmers, and 350 certified farmers markets participated in the program. Farmers and Farmers Markets that participate in the program are certified by both the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Public Health WIC Program. The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, which began in the 1990s, to:
- Provide fresh, nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables from farmers markets to low-income families, and
- expand the awareness and use of farmers markets.
Studies show that a diet high in fruits and vegetables helps to improve our health and well-being. The FMNP's emphasis on the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Healthy People 2010, and the Department of Public Health Five-A-Day campaign. WIC participants are pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and children under age five who are at risk for nutritional deficiencies. WIC provides nutrition education, breastfeeding education, and support for families with a low to medium income. Working families may apply. For example, to qualify for WIC, a family of four must have an income of $3,400 or less per month.
Each eligible family receives a total of $20 in vouchers to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and cut herbs at WIC-approved Certified Farmers Markets in California during the season, from May through November. These fresh fruits and vegetables are an additional source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and iron, nutrients that are important to the health of pregnant women and their children.
To find a local office and for more information on how to apply for WIC, please call 1-888-WIC-WORKS (1-888-942-9675) or go to www.WICworks.ca.gov.
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
SFMNP is a seasonal assistance program aimed at increasing accessibility and consumption of fresh produce by low-income seniors. In California, the SFMNP begins in May and runs through the end of November.
Federally funded, the SFMNP provides low-income seniors with check booklets which include 10 checks redeemable for $2 each, which can be used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs at Certified Farmers’ Markets (CFM). The program is administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services Agency and by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). In 2009, CDFA provided seniors almost $800,000 in check booklets. Seniors redeemed the checks for fresh, nutritious, unprepared, and locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs from 1,200 farmers at 350 CFMs, who applied and were approved to participate in the SFMNP.
To find a local office and for more information on how to apply for SFMNP, please call (916) 657-3231 or visit the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program website.