Video: Market Match: Nurturing Food Access for All

December 17, 2021

The pandemic has deepened inequities in the food system, especially in terms of food security, but through it all, the farmers market has been a lifeline between small California farms and San Francisco families in need. When you donate to CUESA, you are contributing to a resilient and inclusive local food system that supports the livelihoods of family farmers and ensures everyone has access to nutritious food.

This month, we are shining a light on people who nourish our community and help sustain this vision. In this new video from CUESA, you’ll hear from our neighbors and farmers at CUESA’s Mission Community Market about Market Match—and your support of this vital program—has made a difference in their lives.

Since the start of the pandemic, CalFresh usage at CUESA’s farmers markets has nearly tripled, as more families need help putting fresh food on the table. The Market Match program doubles shoppers’ CalFresh benefits (aka food stamps or EBT) to make farmers market produce more accessible. When a shopper uses their CalFresh benefits at CUESA’s markets, they receive an equal amount in Market Match tokens for free. With your support this last year, CUESA expanded Market Match to meet the growing demand, so shoppers are now matched up to $15 per day (up from $10) to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Market Match is a win-win for local farmers and low-income families looking to stretch their food budget. “Fruits and vegetables are the number one thing I feed my son,” says San Francisco native Katy, who frequents CUESA’s Mission Community Market with her son, Amitai. “CalFresh and Market Match make it more affordable, and we get to support the farmers directly.”

Nutrition incentive programs like Market Match also help community members explore the range of healthy produce at the farmers market. “It’s really opened up my taste buds and spectrum for veggies and fruit and all kinds of things,” says market regular Kerry. “Without [CalFresh], a lot of people wouldn’t be able to feed their families or be able to buy foods that are healthy.”

Bringing more loyal customers to the farmers market, the Market Match program is critical to the economic viability of small sustainable farmers. “The thing is, we depend on these markets just in order to survive,” says farmer Poli Yerena of Yerena Farms. “We want to make it affordable for all people, so CalFresh is helping us a lot. Not only us but the customer, too.”

Like you, we believe everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy food. CUESA’s farmers markets are spaces that welcome and nourish all, and Market Match ensures that farmers thrive and our market community continues to grow.


Nurture Fresh Food Access for All

We are just $21,726 away from our December 31 goal of $50,000 to support programs like Market Match. Support small California farms and help expand access to fresh, locally grown produce for all in 2022 and beyond with a donation to CUESA today.

Video by Fox Nakai.

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