Petaluma Bounty is transforming our food system by creating solutions that increase low-income consumers’ purchasing power of locally grown fresh produce; making the healthy choice easier. Nutrition incentives improve community food security by empowering low-income customers to purchase healthy food from small scale farmers; benefiting community health, economic viability of small scale farmers, our local economy and the environment.
Local affordable food incentives, or nutrition incentives, have multiple objectives including: increase consumption of healthy, local, sustainably grown food by low-income community members; improve the economic viability of local farms; and reduce the distance and disconnect between consumers and farmers.
Over the past ten years, Petaluma Bounty attempted a number of initiatives including sliding scale farm stands and CSA, Mobile Market, harvest cards, Sponsor-a-box, produce prescriptions and others with varying success. Starting in 2014, we started providing technical assistance to other organizations and communities wanting to implement similar models.
Current Bounty produce outlets with nutrition incentives:
- Sliding Scale Farmstand: As part of our initiative to make healthy food more affordable to everyone, Bounty Farm Stand offers 30% discounts for limited income families (as defined below) and 50% discounts for CalFresh customers up to $10. To learn if you qualify for discounts, please click on the link above.
- Bounty “Farmacy” at Petaluma Health Center: A weekly farm stand from June through winter, which offers the same price structure as above and is offered to patients and staff of Petaluma Health Center.
- Bounty CSA Bags– A partnership with the Petaluma community in which boxes of fresh produce are provided weekly to local families from June to November. As part of the Local Affordable Food Incentives, Bounty Farm actively seeks community sponsors for the Bounty Boxes that are provided to low-income families and seniors, so healthy food is accessible to members of the Petaluma community most in need.
- Sponsor-A-Box Initiative: Reducing the cost of Bounty Boxes for low-income community members facing food insecurity.
Expanding beyond Bounty produce outlets:
- Farmers’ Market L.I.F.E.: Also known as a “matching program”, Farmers’ Market L.I.F.E. (Local Incentive for Food and Economy) incentives make locally grown, fresh food more affordable to CalFresh (food stamp) customers because it “matches” what they normally spend at the farmers’ market up to a $10 or $20 maximum. Petaluma Bounty currently administers the Market Match Incentive Program at 15 markets in Sonoma and Marin Counties, averaging a distribution of $8,000 per month.
- Produce Prescription Program: A one-time $10 voucher for PHC patients that are CalFresh (food stamp) eligible to be redeemed at the Bounty “Farmacy”. Along with the voucher, participants are provided information on how to connect to longer term Local Food Access Incentives as well as other free and reduced cost healthy food programs.
- Meat, Dairy, and Eggs Program: The program will provide one-time $40 voucher booklets to CalFresh customers toward the purchase of meat, dairy, and eggs. Vouchers will be accepted at participating Sonoma County farmers’ markets. Meat, dairy, and egg products are currently unallowable for purchase with Market Match. The Meat, Dairy, and Eggs Program seeks to assist CalFresh customers who may find locally produced meat, dairy, and egg products out of reach or consideration.
How are these local affordable food incentives funded?
Through donations from our community, corporate sponsorships, grants through foundations and the USDA FINI (Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive) Program.
In order to provide the incentives at Bounty produce outlets, we must raise approximately $6,000 of cash and another $4,000 in grants for EBT. We ask foundations, corporations, and individuals to consider contributing as little as $11 a week to subsidize one family’s groceries. Or you could sponsor one of our farm stands for a month.
For information on Farmers’ Market LIFE funding model, please click here.
If you are interested in supporting our innovative incentive work through a donation, please use the PayPal button below or mail a check to Petaluma Bounty (memo line Sponsor-A-Box) at 1500 Petaluma Blvd South, Petaluma, CA 94952. If you are interested in holding an event, providing a corporate sponsorship, or volunteering, please connect with Suzi@petalumabounty.org.