Farmers Market Fund believes everyone in our community should have access to healthy food and is dedicated to providing low-income, elderly and under-served populations in the region greater access to healthy, locally grown food.
What We Do
Founded in 2012 as a charitable companion organization to Portland Farmers Market, Farmers Market Fund delivers on its mission by administering Fresh Exchange, a money matching program available to low-income Portland residents receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps. Fresh Exchange increases the buying power of SNAP recipients by providing additional funds to purchase fresh food at several Portland Farmers Market locations.
Since 2009, Fresh Exchange has put over $190,000 worth of fresh food on the tables of families in need and leveraged federal SNAP dollars to support family farms and Oregon’s economy.
Farmers Market Fund also leads a collaboration of farmers markets in the region to build funding for money matching programs region-wide. Leaders of the organization also aim to further serve those in need by expanding Fresh Exchange, providing education about nutrition, and helping to remove the barriers to access fresh, local food.
In 2009, the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN), Portland Farmers Market and a group of dedicated community leaders and volunteers partnered to establish Fresh Exchange (originally called Foodshare Fund Northeast) to help get more farm-direct produce into the hands of low-income residents. In Fresh Exchange’s inaugural year, King Portland Farmers Market shoppers using SNAP benefits received matching funds to spend on fresh local food.
Building on the success of the program established by NECN, in 2010 Fresh Exchange expanded to Buckman Portland Farmers Market in SE Portland, thanks to a Portland Business Alliance Leadership team and fiscal administrator SE Uplift.
The Fresh Exchange program has since expanded to all Portland Farmers Market neighborhood locations–King, Buckman, Northwest and Kenton–where it provides SNAP recipients $5 in matching funds to spend at the market on fresh, healthy food directly from our region’s small family farms and producers.
In 2012, Farmers Market Fund was created as a companion charitable organization to Portland Farmers Market and subsequently took over the administration of the Fresh Exchange program.