It is no secret that 2020 is a year for the history books on many counts. Here at Alchemist CDC, it has been a record year for our CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets program.A photograph of two CalFresh volunteers at a farmers' market. Superimposed over their photo is a box indicating that $43,793 in CalFresh benefits were distributed in October 2020.

We distributed $43,793 in CalFresh vouchers at farmers’ markets in October 2020, our highest amount ever in a single month. This caps five months in a row of record numbers at our markets, meaning that in just ten months we have distributed $48,000 more than in our previous highest year.

These record numbers bring mixed emotions for our team. We are constantly aware that this number can be an indicator of economic vulnerability among Sacramento region residents. We see the impact of the pandemic as more families find themselves depending on nutritional assistance programs. At the same time, we recognize that farmers’ markets are attracting new customers by uniquely offering a safer outdoor shopping experience and that more CalFresh recipients are learning about just how far their benefits can go in purchasing high quality nutritious food directly from local farmers.

I, personally, also feel great admiration for our CalFresh team, from the program manager and assistant to our market associate, interns, and volunteers. These dedicated individuals have kept pace with a tremendous increase in demand at regional markets and have consistently helped our neighbors access healthy and affordable food when they need it most.

Despite the fact that CalFresh Access at Farmers’ Markets is an essential social service, most of the costs associated with providing it are not covered by public funds. This program depends on grants, sponsorships, and donors like you. If you can help support this program through a one-time donation, monthly donation, or by volunteering, I can promise you that your contribution will make a profound difference to our community and our neighbors.

Yours in collaboration,

Sam Greenlee
Executive Director