Market Match Increases Healthy Food Access
California is the most productive agricultural state in the nation: #1 in agricultural sales, vegetables harvested, production of tree fruits and nuts, and the number of farmers’ markets. Despite this agricultural abundance, California is also #1 in the number of persons who are food insecure. (UDSA Economic Research Service, 2013) The USDA defines food insecure households as those that lack the means to consistently access enough food for their families: “At times during the year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.”
The Market Match program was designed to address the ongoing challenge of food insecurity in the state by linking up those who may struggle to afford or access food directly with California farmers through the state’s expansive network of farmers’ markets. The California Market Match Consortium operates the Market Match program statewide. In 2014, a statewide survey of Market Match consumers demonstrated the depth of the impact that the Market Match program has on healthy food access. Market Match Impacts summarizes the results of that survey and provides key data on the impact of this important program.