We make healthy, locally grown food accessible to underserved Oregonians.
The Rosemarie Sweet Fund offers small grants to farmers markets across Oregon that create impactful programs to further engage and support low income and underserved populations around shopping for fresh local food.
Double Up Food Bucks makes it easy for low-income Oregonians to eat more fruits and vegetables while supporting family farmers and local economies. It’s Oregon’s first statewide incentive program designed to be convenient for shoppers with consistent program rules, a uniformed brand and currency, centralized administration, and local implementation. The program provides Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients with a one dollar-to-one dollar match up to $10 to purchase fruits and vegetables on each farmers market day. Double Up Food Bucks is offered at 50 farmers markets across the state, and also provides incentives for SNAP recipients purchasing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares offered by several Oregon produce farms.
Market Vouchers provide low-income families who live in the neighborhoods surrounding a farmers market with a chance to learn about healthy food, cooking techniques and budget shopping tips, and receive $20 vouchers to spend at the farmers market.
Fresh Exchange was a SNAP matching program at four Portland Farmers Markets. Prior to Double Up Food Bucks, FMF administered Fresh Exchange, a similar program. From 2009-2015 Fresh Exchange laid more than $130,000 worth of fresh food on the tables of families in need.
Our Collaboration of Farmers Markets is an active coalition of farmers market managers in the Portland region who come together, led by Farmers Market Fund to exchange best practices, share stories and create solutions around market programs for low income shoppers. Together we build support and funding for money-matching programs and other food access strategies.
Listening and Learning from our shoppers and others in the community has been the backbone of our program development. We annually survey our shoppers and collate the data from around the region to tell the story of how our work changes lives. We hold focus groups with low-income families, older adults, and SNAP recipients around the state to learn about those we serve and find ways to improve our programming.
Being a Part of the Greater Food Justice Community means FMF staff and board members partner with community groups with whom we share the intention to reduce the hunger and improve the health of Oregonians. To that end, we are a part of various groups working on funding strategies and advocacy efforts on a local and national scale.
In 2009, the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN), Portland Farmers Market and a group of dedicated 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 its first year, shoppers using SNAP benefits at King Farmers Market received matching funds when they swiped their SNAP card to spend on fresh foods at the market each week. Fresh Exchange later expanded to all Portland Farmers Market neighborhood locations– King, Buckman, Northwest and Kenton, until replaced by Double Up Food Bucks in 2016.
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 and other programs.
To learn more and directly from Rosemarie Sweet, our Co-Founder and first President, please enjoy Our Founding Story and this bit of Portland history.