PCM & EBALDC awarded USDA grant to empower SNAP participants

We’re excited to announce that, in partnership with the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), People’s Community Market (PCM) has been awarded a $76,697 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program.

FINI is a joint program between the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Food and Nutrition Service. The FINI program brings together stakeholders from different parts of the national food system to improve the nutrition and health status of SNAP households. FINI makes grants to help grocery stores, farmers markets and other food outlets provide low income families with the resources they need to consume more nutritious food.

The majority of this grant funding will be used to provide discounts on the purchase of regionally-grown fruits and vegetables by low income shoppers in West Oakland who are participating in SNAP. PCM will implement this incentive through California Market Match, a program run by the Ecology Center of Berkeley that provides a dollar-for-dollar discount on all SNAP eligible purchases at over 250 farmers markets across California. Last year Market Match served approximately 105,000 SNAP beneficiaries.

We’re partnering with the Ecology Center to pilot the expansion of Market Match to grocery stores, with the shared goal of creating a model that can be replicated at other independent grocery stores in California. The Ecology Center will provide technical assistance including training in the best practices and methods of the Market Match program; advisement on the design and implementation of PCM’s pilot retail Market Match program; and assistance in the development of marketing and outreach to SNAP recipients.

In addition to enabling SNAP consumers to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables, Market Match benefits hundreds of small and mid-size California farmers by giving them access to markets and increasing their incomes. Since all qualifying fruits and vegetables offered at People’s Community Market under the Market Match program will be sourced from small and mid-size farmers in the region, the expansion of Market Match to our food market will provide even more support to these important farmers.

Our thanks to EBALDC and the Ecology for partnering with us on this grant award and program, as well as to the staff at NIFA.

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