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Farmers Market Program Providing Discounts For Low-Income Residents To Expand

heathervescent / Flickr
 

heathervescent / Flickr

The number of farmers markets in California that offer discounts to low-income residents could soon double.

The state just go a nearly $4 million grant from the federal government to expand its Nutrition Incentive Program.

Shoppers on assistance get vouchers based on what they buy, basically doubling their spending power for California-grown fruits and vegetables.

Carle Brinkman is with the Berkeley-based Ecology Center, the organization that runs Market Match. She says this new funding will help expand the program into areas where it's most needed.

"I think Sacramento and the Central Valley in general is a high-priority area, despite it being sort-of the fruit basket where lots of our food is grown for the country, there is a lot of food insecurity in those areas, and so our hope is to expand our program in the Sacramento and Central Valley as well," says Brinkman.

Brinkman says, in addition to those areas, expansion is expected along the Central Coast, as well as high-needs areas of Riverside, Del Norte, and Siskiyou Counties.

It's currently available at about 150 markets, but those who run the program hope to increase that to 300 or more.

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