project leader
Todd B
34 N Balph Ave
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the project

We live in an economically diverse region that was especially hard-hit by the pandemic. Food insecurity is an unfortunate local reality, which recently encouraged our school district to start providing free meals to all students.

After our experiencences last year preparing and delivering meals for our neighbers facing pandemic-related and long-term food insecurity, we continued to want to aid those in need in our community by expanding their buying power at our market. Previously, we were only able to offer two sources of support: governmental food assistance (SNAP) and limited matching through an organization called Just Harvest, which provided 40 cents on the dollar.

Starting in 2020, we created our own match so that every $1 of food assistance resulted in $3 in buying power at the market. This program was a tremendous success; in total, the market was able to provide more than $8,500 in direct financial support to neighbors with severe food insecurity while directly supporting the efforts of local farmers. Given the progressive adoption of the program, a pandemic-truncated prior market season, persistent economic struggles, and word getting out about the project, we anticipate needing more than $15,000 to fund this program in 2021. 

The farmers market works hard to minimize the stigma of our shoppers using the food assistance program -- for example, volunteers help mediate the secondary transaction necessary to reimburse shoppers without asking them to visit each vendor twice. Our work is imbued with dignity and respect for food-insecure recipients because the entire board lives in the 15202 area code and we consider each of the 10,122 eligible families our neighbors. 

the steps

Our market runs each Wednesday afternoon from 3-7 PM at Bayne Park in Bellevue Borough. At each market, participants in food assitance programs are able to shop the market, buying fresh and local produce, breads, oils and sauces. When they are completing their purchase, they only need to provide one-third of the value of their goods in the form of the assitance funds. The rest is provided as a direct match via this fund. The full dollar value of the purchases goes directly to the local farmers and vendors, keeping the money in the community.

why we're doing it

The Bellevue Farmers Market has always worked to make food accessibility a priority for our neighbors, but we were compelled to become more than a farmers market to meet those needs amid the pandemic. In 2020, we leveraged significant grants from the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments to create the Feeding Neighbors Program. This effort, powered by more than 200 volunteers, delivered over 30,000 prepared meals to more than 250 families in our neighborhood from March to July of 2020, which we detailed in a documentary.



In 2017, the Market began accepting Food Assistance (SNAP funds - previously known as "food stamps"). That same year, we developed a relationship with an organization called Just Harvest. This foundation provides a $5 match for every $2 a SNAP spends at the market on fresh produce.

In 2020, participants in food assistance programs (SNAP, WIC, Pandemic - EBT, etc) spent $3,000 in those funds at the market. Just Harvest was able to match a portion of that. The Market, through funding remaining from our Feeding Neighbors meal delivery program was able to increase that match, so that customers were now receiving $2 in matching funds for every $1 of assistance funds. The market's cost to do so was nearly $9,000.

In 2021, we expect the level of need to increase due to multiple factors. First, due to the success of the program last year, we anticpate word-of-mouth referrals and pent-up demand for the market to increase our overall traffic. Second, with pandemic restrictions lifting, we will be able to run a market from June-October (last year, we did not begin until mid-July). We anticipate that this year to provide a similar match thoughout the entire season will require over $16,000.

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  




You did it! As a result of your generosity, Bellevue Farmers Market has surpassed its crowdfunding goal to raise $5,000 in less than a week. Along with other private contributions, we've collectively raised more than $7,500 to match all food assistance programs (SNAP, WIC, etc.) at our market.

What does this mean?

  • Families at our market will be able to turn their $1 of food assistance into $2 of spending power for fresh, healthy foods throughout the market season.
  • We can support farmers and food-related vendors by doubling their revenues from families who receive food assistance benefits.
  • Bellevue will continue to be known for a welcoming, supportive community for all.

Last year, thanks to the generosity of private individuals and the foundation community, we could turn $1 of food assistance into even more spending power. Can we do it again?

Our overall goal is to raise $16,500 for the 2021 Bellevue Farmers Market season for our Food Assistance Match program and provide that 3:1 match. We continue to explore grants and other funding, but the real engine of our ability to do this work is you and our other neighbors. Please consider sharing this campaign with your friends and others in the area to help us help local farmers and families in need.

Thank you for your help and commitment to our community.

Almost There!

We are less than $200 away from our original goal!

Thank you so very much to everyone who has contributed so far, we couldn't have done it without you!!

As we've said before, this money will go to helping those in our community who recieve food assistance (in the forms of SNAP, WIC, P-EBT, etc) to be able to purchase even more fresh and local food. With the funds we're receiving every person who participates in these programs can match $1 SNAP (etc) funds with $1 of our match funds, so that $1 will spend like $2. This money will go directly to the local farmers and producers of these foods.

We will be continuing to keep this project open to see if we can stretch beyond this goal. Last year, we were able to offer $2 of matching funds for each dollar of SNAP (etc) and it would be amazing if we are able to do so again this year.

Please continue to share this campaign with your friends and family as we attempt to help our neighbors have access to great local food.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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