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Market Umbrella awarded $500,000 federal USDA grant

Removes Daily Market Match Limit to Increase Buying Power of SNAP Shoppers

Contact: Bridget Rabun, Director of Development
(504) 345-9477

New Orleans, Louisiana – November 9, 2020 – Market Umbrella, the nonprofit organization that operates the Crescent City Farmers Markets, was awarded $500,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). This grant, totaling $1 million in project costs including in-kind and matching support, will inject over $500,000 in direct incentives for fresh fruits and vegetables into the New Orleans community over the next four years through Market Umbrella’s Market Match program.

For over a decade, Market Match – Market Umbrella’s signature incentive program – has been providing dollar-for-dollar matches for purchases made by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) shoppers for the purchase of additional fruits and vegetables at the Crescent City Farmers Markets. The development of this program has relied largely on private funding raised by Market Umbrella, most significantly from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Additional local funding from the Keller Family Foundation; the RosaMary Foundation; the Greater New Orleans Foundation; Aetna; Fidelity Bank; and the New Orleans City Council, Council Member Joe Giarrusso, Cox, and the Harrah’s Community Support program has helped to sustain operations and food access programming throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with support from USDA’s GusNIP and a strong partnership network, this program will be expanded from produce sold by growers at CCFM’s markets to Top Box Foods Louisiana through home delivery and community pick up locations throughout and beyond New Orleans, as well as produce sold at SPROUT NOLA’s ReFresh Farmer’s Market located on the Lafitte Greenway. A significant program component is nutrition education, with cooking classes led by the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University.

Traditionally, Market Umbrella has matched up to $20 per market visit. But, in recognition of the urgent food access need exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and in celebration of this new award and the upcoming holidays, SNAP shoppers can now receive unlimited dollar-for-dollar matches to purchase fruits and vegetables at all program partners through December 31, 2020. Market Match can also be utilized on purchases made with Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits. As the New Orleans area recovers from the effects of Hurricane Zeta, Market Match can help to stretch the 25% replacement benefits that were extended to current local SNAP recipients even further.

“This is a monumental win for the people of New Orleans,” said Robin A. Barnes, Interim Executive Director of Market Umbrella. “We know that the financial impact of the pandemic on our community and its tourism-dependent economy has the potential to persist for years to come. With this substantial infusion of Market Match incentive funds and the expansion of retail and education options for SNAP shoppers, it is our goal to better meet the expectations of the community and increase access to and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables for families.”

A recent report by Feeding America projects Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses much of the area served by this project, to have the highest rate of food insecurity for children in the nation (42%) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Market Umbrella’s Market Match program addresses both food insecurity and access to fresh fruits and vegetables among low-income New Orleanians while simultaneously supporting and expanding income opportunities for Louisiana farmers.

“Tulane University and Market Umbrella have a long-standing history of working together, and we are delighted to be able to deepen that relationship with this opportunity to support healthy food choices in New Orleans with our nutrition education,” said Heather Nace, Director of Operations at the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine. “Our team is looking forward to developing an accessible curriculum in partnership with Market Match participants that focuses on the seasonality of Louisiana’s best, fresh produce and sharing the skills needed to empower Market Match participants to make healthy food choices.”

“Partnering with Market Umbrella at the onset of the pandemic to offer home delivery of the new CCFM Box containing produce from local farms has really shown us the value of Market Match for SNAP shoppers, and we are thrilled to now be able to extend this incentive program to our other boxes as well,” said Connor DeLoach, Executive Director of Top Box Foods Louisiana. “Making healthy food affordable and accessible is at the heart of our mission, and Market Umbrella’s Market Match program will help us to have an even greater impact on the lives of our shoppers.”

SPROUT NOLA, who also operates the Truck Farm Table at CCFM markets, will be implementing Market Match at their Monday evening ReFresh Farmers Market on the Lafitte Greenway. “We are so excited to offer Market Umbrella’s Market Match at our market – not only will it help low-income families with putting more healthy food on their tables, but it will also help our growers, small urban farmers, with selling more produce and growing their businesses,” said Marguerite Green, Executive Director of SPROUT NOLA.

For SNAP shoppers interested in participating in Market Match, visit Market Umbrella’s website for more information at crescentcityfarmersmarket.org/our-work/market-match.

About Market Umbrella & The Crescent City Farmers Market

Market Umbrella is the nonprofit parent organization for the CCFM, now celebrating 25 years of serving the greater New Orleans area. The Crescent City Farmers Market works to directly connect New Orleans consumers with regional farmers, fishers, and food producers. Market Umbrella normally operates weekly producer-only markets in four New Orleans neighborhoods and two in Jefferson Parish. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Market Umbrella has temporarily scaled back original operations and leveraged community partnerships to create innovative new systems for food distribution within our local food economy. These new operations include a modified walkup market, with enhanced safety precautions in places, weekly on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Uptown at 200 Broadway Street. Market Umbrella also hosts two weekly drive thru markets; one on Sundays at Parkway Bakery and Tavern and the other Wednesdays at Bucktown Harbor. Customers can make purchases for these pre-order only markets through the CCFM online ordering system or by downloading the WhatsGood Marketplace app. Additionally, CCFM vendor produce is available through partner Top Box Foods Louisiana for weekly home delivery. Market Umbrella’s Market Match SNAP incentive program is supported by the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program [2020-70030-33191/1024397] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For information, visit marketumbrella.org or call (504) 861-4488. Facebook: Crescent City Farmers Market / Twitter: @ccfmtweets / Instagram: @crescentcityfarmersmkt

About Top Box Foods Louisiana

Top Box Foods Louisiana (TBF) is a local nonprofit that collaborates with community partners and uses an innovative supply chain distribution model to make healthy food affordable and accessible for all. In 2013, TBF established the Makin’ Groceries Program, an affordable grocery service that offers grocery boxes filled with fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood and poultry at up to 40% lower than retail value. TBF accepts EBT and prioritizes low-income households located in food insecure areas, providing contact-free home deliveries to keep the individuals and families they serve as safe and healthy as possible during the pandemic. TBF is also a key partner in the Healthy Corner Store Collaborative, supplying corner stores in low food access areas with fresh produce. Both the Makin’ Groceries Program and the Healthy Corner Store Collaborative are serving residents throughout New Orleans and Baton Rouge. More information can be found at www.topboxfoods.com and on its Instagram and Facebook pages, @topboxlouisiana.


SPROUT NOLA is a farmer and gardener technical assistance and training organization for people who grow food for their community on any scale. From a community gardener to a market farmer, we believe everyone has a role as we work towards food sovereignty. SPROUT supports established and developing farmers in our community with technical and social support to build a stronger, more equipped community of growers in New Orleans and help all New Orleanians be part of a community food system. More information can be found at sproutnolafarm.org and on social media @sproutnola.

About The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine

The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine was established in 2012 as the first teaching kitchen operated within a medical school. As a part of Tulane University’s School of Medicine, GCCM’s mission is to educate and train future physicians to understand nutrition in a practical way, enabling them to assist their patients with health improving diet and lifestyle modifications. Through an innovative, evidence-based curriculum and hands-on cooking classes, GCCM demonstrates how medical students can easily incorporate nutrition principles into their own lives and counsel their patients to do the same. GCCM also targets community members directly with adult, family, and kids cooking classes which have been offered in partnership with the ReFresh Project and SPROUT NOLA. Community programming focuses on practical cooking skills that make healthy lifestyle choices second nature for class participants. The overall goal of GCCM’s programming is to provide nutrition education to a variety of audiences in a way that results in lifelong adherence to healthier dietary choices and improved relationships with food.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, GCCM opened its kitchen space to CCFM to help support their evolving food distribution system, helping to cement an ongoing partnership between the organizations. Cooking classes have moved online to continue reaching medical students and community members with valuable nutrition-focused education while participants and instructors cook alongside each other from their home kitchens. For more information on available class opportunities, recipes, and nutrition resources, visit goldringcenter.tulane.edu or call (504) 988-9108. Facebook: Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University | Instagram: @culinarymedicine


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About Us

Market UmbrellaMarket Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the power of farmers markets to drive economic and community health in the region. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.

Crescent City Farmers MarketThe Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round throughout New Orleans. The CCFM hosts 70+ local small farmers, fishers, and food producers, and more than 150,000 shoppers annually.

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