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SF Examiner: Why SF farmers markets fear end of this state benefit

Source: San Francisco Examiner

Thousands of low-income San Franciscans are poised to lose a critical food benefit if Gov. Gavin Newsom’s currently proposed budget cuts pass through the California State Assembly, and local farmers market operators say they’re fearful of the impact in The City.

The Market Match program, started 15 years ago and funded through the California Nutrition Incentive Program, allows recipients of CalFresh and federal food benefits to match daily purchases at farmers markets up to $15 with vouchers.

... San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting, whose 2017 legislation created the CNIP, said program “cuts would erase the progress we’ve made.”

“The dollars we’ve invested in the program’s initiatives, like Market Match, have eased food insecurity, led to better health outcomes and stimulated the economy,” Ting said in a statement to The Examiner.

Were the CNIP cuts to go into effect, Moy said Market Match would shut down by the end of the year.

“In fact, it would be cruel to reduce the buying power of vulnerable residents now when grocery prices are higher,” Ting said. “I will fight to ensure these Californians can continue to access fresh California-grown food.”