We Did It! Market Match is Saved!

Posted June 26, 2024

Thanks to the efforts of farmers markets and food advocates from around California, state funding for the California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP) which is an essential part of the federal-state-local funding formula Market Match has been retained.  

Due to the state budget shortfall, funds previously approved for CNIP at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) had been identified for recission and CDFA was instructed to not spend the funds. As a result, CDFA did not apply for federal grant funds to support Market Match. In 2022, CDFA received almost $13 million from USDA’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, and it was expected that if CDFA had applied in 2024, it likely would have received $13 million to $15 million of federal funding for CNIP and Market Match. 

While it is too late for CDFA to seek USDA funding in 2024, the Ecology Center, the Berkeley-based nonprofit organization that coordinates Market Match partners statewide, has applied for USDA support. While the Ecology Center is optimistic about its proposal, due to USDA matching fund requirements, the amount of federal funding requested by the Ecology Center was significantly less than what CDFA could have applied for. 

With state funding for March Match secured in California’s 2024-2025 budget, CDFA is beginning the process of making those funds available through the CNIP program. This commitment of state funding, along with the federal funding to the Ecology Center should their proposal be successful, should be sufficient to sustain Market Match without interruption. 

The successful effort to retain support for CNIP and Market Match in the state budget was made possible through the efforts of farmers markets, farmers, farmers market customers, local leaders, and hundreds of California voters who all raised their voices in unison to stress the importance of Market Match. 

Everyone and PCFMA – our Board of Directors, staff, farmers, and vendors – send their sincere thanks to everyone who helped convince our elected officials that Market Match is essential to supporting healthy food access and small-scale farmers in California.  

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