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FREE FOOD - CalFresh at Sonoma County Farmers Markets


FREE FOOD - CalFresh
at Sonoma County Farmers Markets

Do you wish in your heart of hearts that you could support local farmers, that you could shop at your hometown farmers market but feel that it is out of your budget?

I have news that might grant your wishes.

All you have to do is show up at any of the participating farmers markets listed below and use your CalFresh (EBT) card.  

You will receive an extra $10 to spend on fruits and vegetables (an extra $20 at certain markets).

This free “Market Match” money will be yours every single week at every single participating market through late 2016.  

$10 extra each week adds up to $40 extra food in the refrigerator every month (or $80 more each month, depending on the daily maximum). That’s a lot of really good, healthy, clean, locally grown fruits and vegetables! 

The following markets (in alphabetical order) are participating in this program:

Cotati Farmers Market
LaPlaza Park
Thursday evening.  Opens in June.

Healdsburg Farmers Market
North & Vine
Saturday morning - Opens in May

Petaluma East Side Farmers\' Market
Friedman’s Shopping CenterTuesday mornings – year round

Petaluma Farmers Market
Walnut Park
Saturday afternoon.  Opens May 14th  

Petaluma Theatre Square Market
Wednesday evening during the summer

Rohnert Park Farmers Market
City Center Drive
Friday afternoon – year round

Santa Rosa Community Farmers\' Market
Veterans Building
Wednesday and Saturday mornings – year round

Santa Rosa Original
Luther Burbank Center
Saturday and Wednesday mornings – year round

Sebastopol Farmers Market
On the Plaza
Sunday morning – year round

A little history:  The markets listed above joined a state wide collaborative which is commonly called “Market Match”.   Here in Sonoma County we call ourselves the “Farmers’ Market L.I.F.E. Collaborative.”  (L.I.F.E. = Local Incentives for Food and Economy).

For every dollar that Farmers’ Market L.I.F.E. provides in “Market Match” money, ½ comes from the U.S.D.A. and ½ comes from contributions of work and money from participating farmers markets.   We are proud of our efforts – grateful for the chance to bring a little social justice to our world along with excellent food grown by farmers with great love.

One of the inspiring, unexpected outcomes about “Market Match” is the fact that this pocket full of government money has been the catalyst in uniting several local farmers markets with each other – as well as connecting us to about 100 other farmers markets around the state.

Markets are competitors and fiercely independent on the one hand.  On the other hand we know that we are stronger as a community when we are united.

Eleven months into our first year together we are seeing the results of our collaboration.  Since May of 2015 we have collectively distributed over $75,000 in Cal Fresh and Market Match funds.  That means an extra $37,000 in increased purchasing power for CalFresh users at farmers markets as well as $75,000 into the pockets of small scale, local farmers.  That feels very good to us indeed.

Look for Sonoma County L.I.F.E. at  Come and see us at any of the farmers markets listed above.  And, look for us at the Human Race on May 7th.