Milwaukee Market Match program kicks off countywide on August 13.
MILWAUKEE-Thanks to the joint efforts and advocacy of many, Milwaukee County allocated $1.1 million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds to the Milwaukee Market Match program. The launch of the 2022 Market Match program is set to kick off on August 13.
Fondy Food Center is the fiscal recipient of the grant, with support from core partners, the American Heart Association and the UW-Madison Division of Extension Milwaukee County FoodWIse program.
”We are excited to be able to work with so many community partners to bring more local, fresh produce into the homes of families in the Greater Milwaukee area,” Fondy Food Center Interim Executive Director Venice Williams said. “Increasing fresh food options in the lives of those who have limited income creates a positive, rippling impact on family health, household spending, increased opportunities to cook together, and the joy of sitting down at a table to share a meal together.
”Milwaukee Market Match provides matching dollars to individuals and families who participate in FoodShare (also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP) to purchase additional fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets. If a family spends $20 in FoodShare dollars at the market, they will receive an additional $20 in Market Match dollars. The match dollars are capped at $20 per day, per participant.
Programs like the Milwaukee Market Match exist throughout the country and are referred to nationally as “nutrition incentive programs.” The design varies in each community, but they all help connect people with limited financial resources to healthy foods, while also supporting farmers and boosting the local economy.
Ten farmers markets in Milwaukee County are participating in the program: Brown Deer, Fondy, Greenfield, Jackson Park, Oak Creek, Riverwest, Shorewood, South Shore, Wauwatosa and West Allis.
“This program increases the access, affordability and consumption of healthy foods and will have a positive impact on families, our local farmers and our community as a whole by keeping these dollars local,” said Mary Starr, American Heart Association ImmediatePast Board Chair and Franklin resident. “National estimates suggest that every $1 invested in these efforts stimulates nearly $2 in local economic activity.”
FoodWIse supports program design, coordination and technical assistance to all participating markets in partnership with Fondy Food Center and the Milwaukee Farmers Market Coalition.
“This has been years in the making,” said Meg Kilkenny, Healthy Communities Coordinator with FoodWIse at UW-Madison Extension Milwaukee County. “The coalition has been working toward a countywide nutrition incentive program since it began in 2015. So many community partners and many folks behind the scenes who support farmers markets and their EBT programs to increase accessibility to markets have worked tirelessly to make this program a reality.”
Funding for the program was approved unanimously by the County Board and signed by County Executive Crowley earlier this summer This marks the first time the County has put funding towardthe Milwaukee Market Match program, which until now has operated off generous support from the philanthropic community, and need has vastly exceeded resources.
Milwaukee Market Match will be available throughout the county for the remainder of the 2022 season and all of 2023 and 2024.
As part of the event Saturday, Zakiya Courtney, owner of Vegan Soul and Garden Chef at Alice’s Garden Urban Farm, will present fresh produce cooking demonstrations from 10 a.m. to noon.
More information on the Milwaukee Market Match Program, including locations and marketing materials, can be found at http://milwaukee.extension.wisc.edu/foodwise/milwaukeefarmersmarketcoalition/
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. TheDallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitteror by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.