What is a Nutrition Incentive?

More food dollars for qualifying individuals and families!
Nutrition Incentives are programs that provide food dollars to qualifying individuals and families. At participating farmers markets, Nutrition Incentives (also called Nutrition Benefits) may include CalFresh/EBT, Market Match bonus dollars, WIC, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). These benefits can be used to purchase locally produced farm-fresh foods at your farmers market! Learn which Nutrition Incentives your farmers market is accepting by visiting the market's website or talking to market staff on site. At the market manager's booth, look for signs that say, “EBT or WIC accepted here.” See below for some of the major nutrition incentive programs at participating farmers markets. Ask farmers market staff to learn more about these and other programs.

Are you on a limited income?

CalFresh is California's food stamps (SNAP) program that helps low-income community members buy groceries. Monthly benefits are added to a debit-card-style plastic EBT card that eligible individuals and families can use to pay for food at grocery stores and many local farmers markets. 

At participating farmers markets, bring your CalFresh/EBT card to the market manager's booth. Swipe your CalFresh/EBT card to make a withdrawal ($1 and up) in exchange for vouchers or tokens you can use to purchase food items at the markets.

Market Match for CalFresh customers

Extra spending bucks for EBT customers

The Market Match program helps you budget more fruits and vegetables with your CalFresh benefits. Participating farmers markets will match your CalFresh benefits dollar-for-dollar up to a daily maximum. For example, a participating farmers market may give you $10 in Market Match vouchers for spending $10 on your EBT card, giving you a total of $20 to spend at the market. Specific match amounts vary by market. Match dollars can only be used on fresh fruits and vegetables or edible plant starts.

Market Match is a program of the Ecology Center and is funded in part through the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Are you 60 years old or older?

Do you know about Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program?

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a program for low-income seniors that typically runs from May to September each year. Qualified seniors 60 years of age and older who are on a limited income may receive one check booklet per season. The checks can be used to purchase fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally-grown produce, cut herbs, and raw honey at certified farmers markets.

Are you pregnant / have young children?

WIC provides food benefits to low-income mothers and kids up to age 5

The WIC program provides supplemental food benefits, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, and postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

You can use P-EBT at farmers markets that accept CalFresh

Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, is a federal program responding to the COVID-19 public heath emergency.

P-EBT gives eligible families food benefits in addition to free or reduced-price meals at child care or school. Young and school-age children are eligible under certain qualifications.

P-EBT can be used to make purchases at farmers markets that accept CalFresh. Bring the P-EBT card to the market manager's booth and don't forget to have the PIN number ready.

More ways to stretch your food dollars

Sliding scale farm stand, CSA discounts for EBT customers, and more

Everyone, regardless of income, should have access to healthy food! To increase low-income consumers’ purchasing power of locally grown fresh produce include discounts at farm stands and for CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes. Learn more about some of the efforts being made by the nonprofit Petaluma Bounty and partners. 

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