Ecology Center

Incorporated on April 22, 1970, the Ecology Center is a 501c(3) nonprofit with 50 employees, a $4.7M annual budget and a broad base of community partners. EC’s mission is to inspire and build a sustainable, healthy, and just future for the East Bay, California, and beyond.

The Ecology Center’s programs are centered on four major areas: food and farming, zero waste, climate action, and sustainable living. Our programs have been replicated and copied across the globe. Market Match is part of the Ecology Center’s Nutrition Food and Farming Programs (NFFP) that work directly with our community of farmers, residents, nonprofit partners, health service providers, businesses, and government agencies to address California’s epidemic of diet-related diseases.

Since 2013, the Ecology Center has led Market Match, a unique and collaborative program; convened and coordinated the California Market Match Consortium (CMMC); and provided overall programmatic direction.

The Ecology Center’s role in Market Match

  • Convenes the CMMC monthly calls and annual Market Match Face-to-Face meeting in order to effectively exchange best practices, facilitate discussion, and train new and return CMMC partners.
  • On-boards new Market Match market partners through training, technical assistance, providing tools, materials, and promotions.
  • Provides centralized fundraising and grant administration.
  • Develops centralized promotional strategy, tools, and materials to promote the Market Match program statewide.
  • Encourages and facilitates regional collaboration amongst CMMC partners who run Market Match programs in adjacent geographical areas.
  • Streamlines data collection and reporting tools; Aggregates statewide data.
  • Designed and manages program evaluation in partnership with University of Southern California.
  • Operates Market Match at our three Berkeley farmers’ markets.

In to the future, the Ecology Center is working with the California Market Match Consortium to:

  • Bring Market Match to every region of the state in order to increase the purchase of farm-direct fruits and vegetables by low-income California consumers participating in SNAP.
  • Develop and test technological innovations that improve benefit redemption systems for use at direct-sales outlets, including farmers’ markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and Community Supported Agriculture outlets.
  • Standardize the match level, and other programmatic elements, in order to streamline and simplify evaluation and communication about the program and ultimately decrease administrative costs.
  • Evaluate overall program efficacy and specific programmatic elements, such as optimal incentive level.