Sacramento residents who use an EBT card can see their dollars go twice as far when they’re used at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market.
NeighborWorks Sacramento provides a dollar-for-dollar incentive match for CalFresh EBT (food stamp) customers, provided through the support of Rabobank, N.A., a local community bank and the City of Sacramento Ann Land and Bertha Henschel Memorial Fund Commission.
“This is a win-win situation,” says Jon Ruiter, vice president of Rabobank’s Community Reinvestment Act Division. “The same dollar not only benefits the person spending it, but also the small farmers and local growers who sell their produce at the market. It’s the right thing to do and complements our mission to support our local community and agribusiness.”
Oak is considered a “food desert” due to the lack of grocery stores and high volume of fast food and convenience stores. Its residents have poor access to fruits and vegetables, the absence of which can negatively impact their health. A 2007 report by the CA Center for Public Health Advocacy showed that in 2005, California had 4.18 times more fast food restaurants/convenience stores than grocery stores/produce vendors. The City of Sacramento has an even higher ratio of almost 6 to 1.
Oak Park has only one supermarket competing with a high volume of convenience/liquor stores. Residents have easy access to sugary, high fat foods but much less access to affordable, nutritious produce. The Farmers Market, along with other community-driven initiatives like the Crop Swap and community gardens, is part of a growing movement to improve access to affordable, healthy foods within Oak Park.
The Oak Park Farmer’s Market takes place every Saturday at McClatchy Park, at the corner of 35th Street and 5th Ave, beginning at 9am, through October. For more information, visit nwsac.org/oakparkfarmersmarket.