Category Archives: Policy

SNAP at Farmers Markets Growing, but Limited by Barriers

FMC June 10, 2015

The number of farmers markets and farmers accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) has increased five-fold since 2009, but continues to remain stubbornly low. Nearly two in three farmers markets nation-wide still do not have the equipment and authorization required to accept SNAP. The same is true of farmers market vendors;…

SNAP Update: Redemptions at Farmers Markets Continue to Increase

FMC May 21, 2015

Farmers markets have seen exponential growth over the past decade. Not only did the number of markets rise in 2014 – by over 100 to a total of 8,268 – but so did the use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly food stamps) at farmers markets across the country. Note: All years refer to fiscal…

Information About Funding Opportunities Now Available

FMC May 5, 2015

FMC’s new “Funding Opportunities” webpage details a variety of competitive grant programs intended to improve farmers markets, community health, and farms. Each program follows the same format: program background, success stories, how to apply, and additional program resources. The reference chart includes expected grant availability dates, due dates, other important details, and links to additional funding…

Federal Spending Bill Preserves Funding for Farmers Market Programs

Jen O'Brien January 8, 2015

In December, Congress passed the federal spending bill, approving funding to continue operating government into 2015. Elements of the bill have been criticized by Republicans, Democrats, and independent organizations. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), which FMC is a member of, writes, “…while there is some good news, overall it’s bleak news for sustainable agriculture…

Changes in IRS Requirements for Hospitals May Result in New Support for Farmers Markets

Jen O'Brien January 6, 2015

Great news! In 2013, we shared info about the ‘community health improvement’ spending requirements for nonprofit hospitals, and asked you to tell the IRS to include healthy food access as an approved ‘community health improvement’ activity. See that announcement here. Your comments were heard! Nonprofit hospitals can now claim tax credit for sponsoring programs that…

Fix the Food Safety Modernization Act: Round 2

Jen O'Brien November 20, 2014

In September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released reproposed sections of major new food safety regulations that were originally proposed in January 2013. The rules are part of FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in 2011. The goal of FSMA is to focus food safety measures…

FMC Awarded Contract to Assist USDA in Administering $4 million to Support SNAP at Farmers Markets

Jen O'Brien October 24, 2014

The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) has been awarded a USDA contract to assist in improving and expanding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at farmers markets nationwide. Through the contract, FMC will collaborate with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to administer $4 million in grants for SNAP programming needs and replacement wireless electronic…

2014 Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Awardees Announced!

Jen O'Brien September 30, 2014

The 2014 grantees for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) have been released. The announcement was part of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement of over $52 million in support of local and regional food systems, and the organic industry. The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) make up $27 million of that $52 million.

Gaining Ground

Jen O'Brien March 13, 2014

As this LONG, eventful winter comes to end, we’re gearing up for a great farmers market season. February brought the conclusion of what turned out to be a multi-year farm bill debate in Congress. The Agriculture Act of 2014—the farm bill’s official name—took steps toward supporting local agriculture by increasing funding for Community Food Projects,…

SNAP Redemptions at Markets Continue to Increase, and New Federal Support is on the Way

Liz Comiskey February 26, 2014

by Maclovia Quintana, FMC Research & Education Intern and Jen O’Brien FMC Executive Director Farmers markets have seen exponential growth over the past decade, and beyond the increase in number, 2013 brought expanded depth and breadth of services offered to market communities. One important indicator of this trend is increased use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance…