CalFresh’s Market Match Makes Fresh Produce at Farmers Market Affordable

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The Henderson Center Farmers Market is back in full swing, and those with cal fresh can purchase fresh local produce.

People can shop for fresh produce, flowers and more as they stroll along F Street in Eureka.

Calfresh co-hosts the event alongside the North Coast Growers Association, operating ten Farmers Markets across humboldt county.

“We’ve been operating CalFresh at the Farmers Market for a long time, since before we could even have machines at the farmers market. We were doing like paper CalFresh vouchers years and years ago,” Farmers Market manager Katherine Nunes-Sicilani said.

Those with CalFresh benefits with EBT cards can exchange their benefits for tokens to shop around. CalFresh also offers a Market Match program, which doubles your benefits up to $15.

“Customers choose the amount of tokens they want to take off of their card, and they receive both copper tokens and silver tokens,” Nunes-Sicilani said. “The copper tokens is the money that comes right off of their card and is going to be spent on fruits and veggies. The silver tokens are the market match, and those are just good for fruits and veggies. 

Each token is valued at one dollar and accepted by the vendors across the Farmer’s Market. People can find the same setup at all of the Humboldt County Farmer’s Markets.

“We actually have one particular CalFresh customer who is extremely dedicated to spending her dollars at the market. She develops a report at the end of the year where she shows us exactly how much money she spent with each vendor,” Nunes-Sicilani said. “And it’s like this very real, tangible data of how much of a difference this federal and state funding being funneled into the pockets of our farmers is really making.”

Outside of the market, CalFresh users can also purchase a produce box filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, changing as the season go on.

“The Harvest Box Program is operated by cga and it delivers produce boxes right to people’s front door. And so folks can use their CalFresh card to get at the $10 mark and match on that.”

That box is available for users in Eureka, Arcata, Trinidad and Blue Lake.

the Henderson Center Farmers Market will run every Thursday until November 14th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.