“MarinersMatch” Program Provides Relief to Commercial Fishing Families Affected by the BP Disaster
New Orleans, LA (September 23, 2010) — marketumbrella.org, a New Orleans-based organization devoted to growing the field of public markets for public good, has teamed up with national nonprofit Wholesome Wave for MarinersMatch, an initiative that offers support to Louisiana and Mississippi commercial fishers, shrimpers, crabbers and oystermen impacted by the BP oil spill. The MarinersMatch nutrition incentive initiatives are Wholesome Wave’s first programs in both Louisiana and Mississippi.
MarinersMatch, modeled after similar Wholesome Wave nutrition incentive programs operating throughout the country, offers support for commercial fishermen and their families with $40 worth of farmers market tokens for each purchase of fresh, healthy, local food from local farmers along the New Orleans and Mississippi Gulf Coasts. The $40 allotment of tokens is available for multiple market visits while supplies last to any registered commercial fisher who presents his/her fishing license and picture I.D. at any of the participating farmers markets’ welcome tent.
Additional benefits of the marketumbrella.org “MarinersMatch” program include special offers at nearby museums and attractions. The Audubon Zoo, Aquarium and Insectarium, Louisiana Children’s Museum, National World War II Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and others each match the market money with passes and discounts for family attendance.
“marketumbrella.org partnered with Wholesome Wave for MarinersMatch not only because they’re one of the nation’s more imaginative farmers market players,” said Richard McCarthy of marketumbrella.org. “We’re also fortunate that both of our organizations share the belief that farmers markets nourish people materially and mentally, allowing Wholesome Wave to launch some of the nation’s largest farmers market nutrition incentive pilots, from Boston to Miami, and Chicago to San Diego.”
“We welcome the opportunity to expand the goodwill of farmers markets to the fishing communities on the Gulf Coast, and we’re thrilled to partner with marketumbrella.org to grow this program from the ground up,” said Michel Nischan, award winning chef and Wholesome Wave founder and CEO.
Mike Strain, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry was delighted with this effort stating that “Our commercial fisheries industry suffered severe losses in the last few months due to the BP oil spill. This will provide much needed assistance for them to feed their families during this time of crisis. We truly appreciate the charitable spirit of our partners at Wholesome Wave and marketumbrella.org who made this possible." Mississippi’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Lester Spell, welcomed this collaborative effort. “The timely assistance and support to the local fishermen and their families provided by these organizations is greatly appreciated. By allowing fishing families affected by this disaster to access Mississippi farmers’ markets for fresh, local fruits and vegetables in this time of need will be most helpful towards their recovery.”
Wholesome Wave’s programs have been functioning since 2008 to bring locally grown, culturally significant food to those who need it. Their hallmark initiative, coined the Double Value Coupon Program, encourages vulnerable populations to visit farmers markets by doubling SNAP EBT (food stamp) recipients’ dollars at farmers markets. Wholesome Wave also founded the Fruit & Veggie Prescription program, so that local health clinics can issue prescriptions for fresh produce to patients suffering from diabetes and obesity to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at farmers markets. marketumbrella.org and Wholesome Wave have based the MarinersMatch efforts on these successful programs.
Financial support for this program is provided by The Coastal Vitality Project of GNO Inc./Chevron, the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, and from an anonymous donor to Wholesome Wave.
Participating Mississippi farmers markets: Thursdays in Bay St. Louis (Main Street Market, Downtown Green Space, corner of Second and Main, 3-6 pm); Saturdays in Long Beach (Real Food Market, Downtown Long Beach, 126 Jefferson Davis Avenue, 9am – 1pm); Saturdays in Ocean Springs (Fresh Market, Downtown Depot, 1000 Washington Ave., 9am – 1pm). For more information about participating Mississippi Gulf Coast farmers markets, call Diane Claughton at (228) 257-2496 or Dita McCarthy at (228) 234-8732.
Participating Louisiana farmers markets: Tuesdays in New Orleans (Crescent City Farmers Market, 200 Broadway, 9am – 1pm); Thursdays in New Orleans (Crescent City Farmers Market, 3700 Orleans Avenue, 3 – 7pm); Saturdays in New Orleans (Crescent City Farmers Market, 700 Magazine Street, 8am – 12noon). For more information about the Crescent City Farmers Market, log onto CrescentCityFarmersMarket.org or call Emery Van Hook at (504) 861-4488.
marketumbrella.org is a New Orleans-based 501[c]3 nonprofit corporation devoted to cultivating the field of public markets for public good.
About Wholesome Wave: The mission of the Wholesome Wave (www.wholesomewave.org) is to nourish neighborhoods by supporting increased production and access to healthy, fresh, and affordable locally grown food for the well-being of all. Wholesome Wave Foundation achieves success through partnership-based programs that serve food deserts of historically excluded urban and rural communities. By creating connections between these neighborhoods while providing diversified market support for small and midsized farmers, Wholesome Wave’s “Nourishing Neighborhoods” programs succeed in raising visibility of existing Federal, State and local governmental agency programs. By leveraging limited private funds with public funds, Wholesome Wave builds synergistic relationships that help nourish the neighborhoods of communities, farmers, farms and the people of America. Its core Double Value Coupon Program, which launched in 2008 in farmers markets in Fairfield County, Connecticut; San Diego, California; Boston and Holyoke, Massachusetts, with the help of more than 25 partner organizations, has expanded to more than 160 markets, 20 states and the District of Columbia. Visit wholesomewave.org to learn more.