Celebrating the Many Benefits of Farmers Markets

Anne Alonzo, Jen O'Brien, Crista Gibbons

Anne Alonzo, Jen O’Brien, Crista Gibbons

It’s National Farmers Market Week! On Saturday, August 3rd, FMC, Wholesome Wave, DC Greens and the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace hosted a USDA press conference to kickoff the week’s festivities. Despite a sprinkle of rain, the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace was teeming with shoppers eager to purchase fresh produce, baked goods and other treats. Live music, face painting, giveaways, an FMC scavenger hunt, and plenty of special guests from the USDA rounded out the festivities.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator, Anne Alonzo, was onsite to announce that the Farmers Market Directory contains 8,144 markets this year. “Due to consumer demand for local food we are seeing an increase in the diversity of market offerings, and more participation from small businesses and farms,” Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator Anne Alonzo said. “This year we are focusing on the sustainability and maturity of farmers markets– keeping new and old markets thriving and improving. Farmers markets around the country continue to be popular social events for families and communities.”

The number of farmers markets in the U.S. continues to rise, along with their collective impact on communities across America. More than just a shopping trip,  markets have become integral parts of regional food systems, economies, and social networks. Markets offer a place to connect with neighbors, meet local farmers, support local small businesses, and provide nutritious food to neighborhoods in need. FMC is promoting the many benefits of farmers markets as National Farmers Market Week continues. Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for updates.

A special thanks to Pickett Harrington and Crista Gibbons of the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace, Gus Schumacher of FMC and Wholesome Wave, and Arthur Neal of USDA AMS for your work to make the press conference a success. Happy National Farmers Market Week!

 

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