March 6, 2020
The Ecology Center has published a Request for Application (RFA) for new Market Match partner sites! We are excited to bring on new partners and further expand the reach and impact of the Market Match program in 2020 and beyond. You can find more information on how to apply and the application materials here .
GusNIP/CNIP Grants Awarded!
The Ecology Center is excited to announce that we have been awarded funding from the California Department of Food & Agriculture California Nutrition Incentive Program , and the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) . This means that the Market Match program has secured funding for the next three years

Market Match provides crucial support for individuals at the highest risk for food insecurity by supplementing the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables at Farmers' Markets. In 2018 alone, the Market Match program led to $4.6 million in federal benefit and incentive spending by low-income Californians at farm-direct sites. The Ecology Center's goal is to continue to grow the Market Match program, working with partners and funders to bring Market Match to every region of the state.
Calling all Farmers’ Markets, Farm Stands,
and CSAs!

The Ecology Center has funding in 2020 to provide technical assistance and resources to farmers’ markets and farmers wishing to add CalFresh EBT access at their locations.
Why add CalFresh EBT?
Adding CalFresh EBT access to your market means new customers and more income for farmers and other vendors selling there. When you add CalFresh EBT access to your farmers’ market, it opens up California’s $6.7 billion in CalFresh food dollars to YOUR farmers. 

Adding CalFresh EBT access to your market sends a powerful message that all people, of all incomes, are welcome. With SNAP covering one in eight Americans, people in your community likely receive CalFresh. 

We can assist with:  
  • the Food and Nutrition Service application, which is required to be able to accept CalFresh EBT 
  • obtaining a FREE wireless Point of Sale (POS) device 
  • ordering and purchasing scrip (as funding allows)
  • bookkeeping and accounting tools 
  • market staffing and redemption models 
  • print-ready outreach materials and press release templates 
  • FREE at-market signage 
  • listing on the Farmers’ Market Finder (
  • incentive programs like Market Match 

This program is funded in part through a Kaiser Permanente NorCal Community Benefits Program Grant.

Call or email us today to get assistance with adding EBT access to your farmers’ market!
510-925-4001 |
National Training & Technical Assistance
The USDA awarded GusNIP grant funding to the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (GSCN), who will lead a newly established Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation and Information Center (NTAE). The NTAE will offer incentive program training and support program growth. GSCN will serve as the lead evaluator overseeing reporting and measurement, while Fair Food Network will lead training and technical assistance, providing tools, program innovations, and connections among practitioners. Core partners for the NTAE include the National Grocers Association , Farmers Market Coalition , Ecology Center and Michigan Farmers Market Association . Additionally, the NTAE will be collecting data for an annual report to Congress, and disseminating the results to the broader public.

This will be an exciting opportunity for the Ecology Center to contribute best practices, new tools, and our technical assistance expertise to organizations running incentive programs across the country.
New USDA Rule will affect SNAP Participants
In December, the USDA announced a final rule that may impact hundreds of thousands of Californians receiving SNAP (CalFresh). The rule is scheduled to go into effect April 1, 2020.

Since 1996, able-bodied adults without dependents, or ABAWD ( childless adults aged 18 to 49, who are unemployed or working less than 20 hours/week), have been subject to a time limit on SNAP benefits. The time limit is 3 months in a 3 year period, unless the individual meets certain work requirements. However, states are able to apply for waivers to this time limit in areas that have over 10% unemployment or areas with insufficient employment opportunities. 

This new rule would greatly restrict the flexibility states have always had to waive time limits on SNAP in areas with insufficient jobs for low-income workers. The rule could be challenged – 14 states, including California, have sued the Trump administration over the rule. 

Currently, the rules related to people with ABAWD status have not yet changed, and SNAP participants and people seeking food assistance should continue applying for and using benefits as normal.

For more information, visit the California Association of Food Banks’ website .
New FMAE Team Members
Welcome to our new Program Manager, Jenna Fahle !

Jenna joined the Ecology Center in 2020 as the Farmers’ Market Access and Equity Program Manager. She is a Registered Dietitian and is passionate about promoting health and wellbeing through food system change. Jenna previously worked at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service where she collaborated with State agencies to implement child nutrition programs and increase procurement of local foods in the Summer Meals program. While at the USDA, she rotated at the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion where she supported the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Jenna has worked with several non-profits and hospitals on sustainable agriculture and health promotion including Urban Roots and the Sustainable Food Center in Austin, Texas and the Norton Sound Health Corporation in Nome, Alaska. Jenna received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science from the University of Texas and a Master of Science in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and hiking around the Bay area.

You can contact Jenna at or 510-548-2220 ext. 236.
Welcome to our new Program Coordinator, Heidi Kleiner !

Heidi joined the Ecology Center in 2019. She first worked in food access as an AmeriCorps VISTA in southwest Virginia before moving to California to serve two more AmeriCorps terms with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, after which she was hired on as a CalFresh Outreach Coordinator and later as an Agency Relations Coordinator. She has volunteered with the Edible Schoolyard and Food First and is excited to continue her food systems work as part of the Ecology Center's Farmers' Market Access and Equity team. She has a certificate in Nonprofit Management from CSU East Bay and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco. She has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia Tech and will complete a Masters in Public Health from San Francisco State in May 2020 where her research focuses on topics related to food justice and food sovereignty. In her free time, Heidi enjoys hiking, camping, and experimenting in the kitchen.

You can contact Heidi at or 510-548-2220 ext. 221.
Farmers' Market Access and Equity Program | Ecology Center
(510) 925-4001 | |