Farmers Market Matching Funds
The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace offers bonus dollars for shopping for healthy foods at our market. These matching incentives improve and increase access to healthful, nutritious and delicious locally grown and produced foods for recipients of federal nutrition assistance, increase market attendance, and promote sustainable food systems by supporting local farmers. The program works by matching, up to $10 per weekend, the benefits of WIC, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), and SNAP (food stamp/EBT) recipients.
Learn more about federal nutrition assistance benefits.
In 2013, we distributed over $10,000 in matching funds to market shoppers. Since our start in 2010 we have distributed over $50,000 in matching funds to low-income market shoppers, thanks to our generous donors and sponsors.
Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program
The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace is proud to partner with Upper Cardozo Unity Health Center and DC Greens to launch a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program in Washington, D.C. The FVRx Program, which began in D.C. in 2012, is developed and supported by Wholesome Wave to track the effects of increased fresh fruit and vegetable consumption on health indicators among low-income, obese patients.
Here’s how it works:
Doctors at the Upper Cardozo Health Center select program participants at high risk for obesity-related chronic illnesses. These patients receive a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription that can be redeemed at five area farmers markets. The participating “farmacies” are Columbia Heights, 14th & U, Mount Pleasant, Bloomingdale, and Glover Park-Burleith. Patients’ redemption rates and health metrics are carefully tracked and entered into a secure portal. At the end of the season, Wholesome Wave will analyze the data in aggregate from their 11 partner sites nationwide.
Cooking Matters at the Store
These tours empower low-income families to shop for healthy meals at the farmers market and Giant through emphasizing themes of unit pricing, identifying whole grains, and other healthy and economical shopping techniques.
Tours are offered at 11 am in Spanish and 11:30 am in English. Customers can participate that day if it is before 11 or 11:30, or can sign up for a future week. All participants receive $10 for free to spend ($5 at the market and $5 at Giant), as well as a free shopping bag and recipe book. Advanced sign up is recommended but not required. Anyone, not only those who participate in federal nutrition programs, are able to participate in these tours.
For more information, email nutritioneducation [at] chmarketplace [dot] org.