The Hollywood Farmers Market’s matching program, Fresh Funds, began in 2010 with a simple idea – that all Oregon residents deserve access to fresh, local produce from their neighborhood farmers market. With this in mind, we created a program that would increase the spending power of customers receiving SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps).
Every market day, SNAP customers can use their EBT card and withdraw SNAP dollars to be used at the farmers market. The Hollywood Farmers Market provides an additional $5 in matching funds, increasing the customer’s spending power at the market and encouraging healthy eating. For many families, this extra $5 a week is what makes it possible for them to shop at the farmers market, rather than at a grocery store. Since 2010, this program has matched over $46,000 to thousands of SNAP customers at the Hollywood Farmers Market, and many other farmers markets have started similar programs.
This year, our matching program is a featured charity in the Willamette Week GiveGuide! This is part of a cooperative effort between nine farmers markets throughout the Portland metro area, called the Farmers Market Fund. Funds raised in the Give!Guide will be shared among SNAP matching programs at all the participating farmers markets, another step toward making these programs institutional and permanent.
Why support the Farmers Market Fund? (Quotes from SNAP match recipients)
“I have a chronic health condition, so fresh veggies and fruits help to give me a better quality of life. The only way I can afford fresh is through this program.”
“This program is actually helping my kids grow! They have eaten more fruit this summer than ever before.”
“I feel much more connected to the community and to the food I eat when I buy fresh and local from the farmers market. Thank you!”
Processed food does not have to be the only option for families on food stamps. Please consider supporting the Farmers Market Fund to ensure all Oregonians have access to healthy, fresh, local produce!