Milwaukee Market Match, a program that doubles the amount FoodShare participants spend at farmers markets up to $20 per day, was unanimously approved by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors on Thursday for funding through 2024.
All that is left for the program to begin is for approval by County Executive David Crowley and an official contract to be drawn up between the county and the Fondy Food Center, which will administer the program.
Fondy Food Center is the founder of Fondy Farmers Market.
After the Board of Supervisors approved funding, Crowley’s office sent out a press release praising the program and saying his office “is expected to sign the County Board file in June.”
“Today’s vote is another step forward in our journey to bridge the gap in health disparities and achieve race and health equity in Milwaukee County,” Crowley said in the statement.
The Milwaukee Market Match program allows FoodShare participants to double their purchasing power at a participating Milwaukee County farmers market, up to $20 per FoodShare account per day. FoodShare helps low-income residents buy food.
The total approved is $1.1 million, which would fund the program through 2024. Dollars are to be taken from approximately $183 million American Rescue Plan Act dollars allocated to Milwaukee County by the federal government to address needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The original proposal asked for $1 million to fund the program, but the Milwaukee County Finance Committee approved a bump up to $1.1 million on May 19. Drawing on the county’s experience overseeing the emergency rental assistance program, this bump will cover additional county staff for oversight, quality assurance and fiscal reporting on the program.
During a 10-week pilot of the program in 2020, Milwaukee Market Match was used by 793 households to purchase $19,653 worth of goods from vendors at five markets across Milwaukee County, according to data compiled by KaHoua Yang, who compiled the figures evaluating Milwaukee Market Match as part of the Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Milwaukee Market Match was renewed for 13 weeks in 2021 and was used by 1,697 households to purchase $78,077 worth of goods from vendors across four markets, nearly four times the amount of money spent in 2020.
About 93% of the transactions in 2021 went to farmers vending at the Fondy Farmers Market in Lindsay Heights, according to Yang’s data.
For more information
Previous coverage of the Milwaukee Market Match program can be found here.
Read the full original proposal to Milwaukee County here.
Tonia Yvette Matthews says
Wonderful news for fresh fruit and vegetables