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Monday, June 17, 2024

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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

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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