SEE-LA is dedicated to improving access to fresh, healthy food for all Angelenos. In 2004, we led a countywide promotional effort for the use of the new Calfresh/EBT (the new name in California for food stamps) card at twenty-two farmers’ markets in LA County. Since 1992, SEE-LA has participated in the WIC (Women, Infants & Children) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and currently all seven of our farmers’ markets accept WIC and Senior FMNP coupons. In 2009, the Central Avenue Farmers’ Market and Watts Healthy Farmers’ Market were selected by the state as pilot sites for WIC’s new Fruit and Vegetable Checks (FVC), and SEE-LA has since expanded the acceptance of WIC FVC to nearly all of its markets.
In 2010, with funding and technical support from Roots of Change, SEE-LA implemented the “Market Match” Program, a healthy incentive program for low-income shoppers. When this incentive program first commenced, it provided shoppers spending federal nutrition benefits with $2 in Market Match funds for every $5 they spent per market day, up to $10 in matching funds. In May 2014, in partnership with the Ecology Center and Hunger Action Los Angeles (HALA), SEE-LA was able to expand Market Match through the sponsorship of First 5 Los Angeles to match benefits dollar for dollar. As a member of the California Market Match Consortium, SEE-LA benefited from a $3.7 million statewide award from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) grant in April 2015. This grant, along with other funding from partners like Kaiser Permanente and Seeds of Change, has allowed SEE-LA to expand the program’s reach.
This dollar for dollar match is currently available to customers at our Central Avenue Farmers’ Market, Watts Healthy Farmers’ Market, Echo Park Farmers’ Market, Glassell Park Farmers’ Market, and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Farmers’ Market with plans to eventually expand to all SEE-LA markets. Since Market Match funds can only be spent to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, the program is effective at increasing the affordability of fresh, local fruits and vegetables for low-income residents while benefiting the farmers and the local economy.
WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and Fruit and Vegetable Checks (FVC)
All SEE-LA Markets are certified to take WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Checks from May until the end of November. As of 2015, five of SEE-LA’s seven markets became certified to accept WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks (FVC) at the market. The WIC FVC vouchers are also able to be matched dollar for dollar at the markets. Check with your Market Manager to find out how to shop at the Market with your FMNP or FVC vouchers.
To find out more information about WIC and how to apply, please click here.