Who we are
FRESA is a community-led coalition of food system advocates in Santa Barbara County, including nonprofits, government, private industry, and individuals. Our motto is “Fresh Food for Everyone.” We’re working to expand community access to affordable, locally-produced fruits and vegetables in the North County and Mid County regions.
Make it possible for CalFresh participants to use their CalFresh EBT card at a farmers market near them, no matter where in the county they live.
Make it possible for CalFresh participants to stretch their food dollars with Market Match at a farmers market near them, no matter where in the county they live.
Help make farmers markets welcoming for all community members, of any preferred language or cultural background.
Work toward establishment of a Farmers Market in the Guadalupe, California area.
Obtain authorization for the market to accept the CalFresh EBT card.
Obtain authorization for the market to offer the Market Match program.
Did you know?
The CalFresh program helps low-income households buy food, with an “EBT card” that works like a debit card at participating supermarkets, corner stores, and farmers markets.
The Market Match program doubles the value of CalFresh benefits at participating farmers markets.
North and Mid County are heavily agricultural, high-poverty areas, and are home to many CalFresh participants. Yet North County farmers markets do not accept the EBT card or offer Market match. In contrast, every South County market and some Mid County markets accept EBT and offer Market Match.
Establishing a North County farmers market that accepts EBT and offers Market Match would offer numerous benefits.
The whole community benefits when CalFresh participants can use their EBT card and get Market Match at the farmers market.
Stronger Economy: CalFresh dollars stay local, supporting local growers and workers.
Better Health: Fresh, local, organic produce is healthier, tastier, and more nutritious.
Food Security: Low-income households get more food for their money with Market Match.
Safety: Organic produce means less pesticide to impact those who grow, pick, sell, and eat.
Environment: Less long-distance food transport means lower climate change emissions.
Resiliency: Supporting local growers ensures we’ll have food even if a disaster blocks roads.
FRESA is a Santa Barbara County Food Action Network working group. FRESA members, sponsors, partners and participants include:
Allan Hancock College
Center for Employment Training
Community Environmental Council
Family Service Agency
Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
Fund for Santa Barbara
Guadalupe Chamber of Commerce
Little House by the Park
Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP)
Office of Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann
Rooted Language Services
Route 1 Farmers Market
Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services: CalFresh Food Aid Program
Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health: CalFresh Healthy Living Program
Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN)
University of California: Agriculture & Natural Resources Program
More organizations and individuals are getting involved all the time. We invite you to join with us!
To get involved or learn more
Explore here on our FRESA website
See our success story and history on the SBCFAN website