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President Joe Biden calls on the nation to 'lower the temperature' on politics; Utah governor calls for unity following Trump assassination attempt; Civil rights groups sound the alarm on Project 2025; New England braces for 'above-normal' hurricane season.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Groups plead with CA legislators to save Market Match program

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024   

California's program helping low-income families buy fresh fruit and vegetables is on the chopping block and health care advocates are asking legislators to save the Market Match program.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed cutting most of the program's $35 million budget to help close the state's budget shortfall.

Sophia Vaccaro, a participant in Market Match from Echo Park, said she depends on Market Match in more ways than one.

"It helps people being able to stretch their budget further," Vaccaro explained. "Then, I think it helps the community, in that it creates a sense of camaraderie at the farmers' market and makes people more invested in the community itself."

The program matches every dollar CalFresh customers spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at a farmer's market up to between $10 and $20 per day. It is active at 294 sites across the state and is partially paid for through federal matching funds.

Dr. John Maa, surgeon at Marin Health Medical Center and board member of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the American Heart Association, said Market Match promotes healthy eating and boosts the local farm economy.

"An improved diet really will have long-term meaningful impacts on health, and also reduce health care costs," Maa explained. "It really helps to sustain the growers and the merchants. I guess it's a win-win-win."

Siu Han Cheung, outreach coordinator for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation and board member of the Heart of the City Farmers' Market, argued the program is vital to residents across the state.

"If the Market Match will be cut, that is terrible," Cheung stressed. "That means they have less money to buy their food. So, Market Match is very important for the low-income families and the seniors."

Legislators and the governor are working toward the May budget revisions, and must pass a balanced budget by June 15.

Disclosure: The American Heart Association Western States Region contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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