Grassroots Advocacy in Washington State: A Success Story

Last summer the Millwood Farmers Market, which is hosted by the Millwood Presbyterian Church in Spokane, WA, received quite a surprise when visited by an auditor from the WA State Department of Revenue. The pastor of the church, Craig Goodwin, was informed that the property used for the farmers market could no longer receive tax exemption status since it was being used for the farmers market.

Farmers Markets Eligible for Golden Grocer Award

At a recent FRAC Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in Washington, DC, the Outreach Coalition of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of USDA Food and Nutrition Service the 2010 Golden Grocer Award Program, established to express appreciation for grocers (including farmers markets) that make an enduring effort to embrace the mission of the SNAP. Award winners are those who demonstrate a unique and creative approach to increasing food security and reducing hunger in their community and publishing their efforts helps to provide ideas for and inspire others to do the same.

President’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity Seeks Public Comment and Recommendations

The President’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity announced on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 that it is in search of recommendations on public and private sector actions that could solve the problem of childhood obesity.

President's Task Force on Childhood Obesity Seeks Public Comment and Recommendations

The President’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity announced on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 that it is in search of recommendations on public and private sector actions that could solve the problem of childhood obesity.

Pennsylvania Nonprofit to Provide SNAP Card Readers to Farmers Markets

A new program will provide food stamp and debit card readers to farmers markets in South Central Pa., allowing vendors to increase sales and better serve a low income market, according to Capital RC&D, a regional nonprofit organization.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Announces Availability of $5 Million in Funding for Farmers Market Promotion Program

This year FMPP will emphasize three priorities during the 2010 grant period: (1) focus on the recruitment and retention of new farmers to participate at farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer farm marketing outlets; (2) develop professional expertise for farmers market managers, farmers/vendors, boards and organizations to effectively manage and/or operate farmers markets and other direct marketing enterprises; and (3) improve food access in local, rural and underserved communities to promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms.

Food & Nutrition Service Takes Steps to Streamline SNAP Procedures for Farmers Markets

On February 24th, USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) headquarters issued a memo to all FNS Field Operations Directors throughout the United States, detailing new procedures for the implementation of scrip and incentive programs at farmers markets. Jeff Cohen, Director of the Benefits Redemption Division at FNS spelled out these new procedures for farmers markets SNAP retailers.

Food & Nutrition Service Takes Steps to Streamline SNAP Procedures for Farmers Markets

On February 24th, USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) headquarters issued a memo to all FNS Field Operations Directors throughout the United States, detailing new procedures for the implementation of scrip and incentive programs at farmers markets. Jeff Cohen, Director of the Benefits Redemption Division at FNS spelled out these new procedures for farmers markets SNAP retailers.

FMC Comments on Proposed $4 Million Provision for Farmers Market SNAP

The Administration’s 2011 budget requests $4 million for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to “provide point of sale terminals to all farmers’ markets nationally that cannot currently redeem SNAP benefits.” As the budget request states, ensuring farmers markets have point of sales devices will substantially increase the redemption of SNAP benefits at these outlets. In 2009, only .07% of all SNAP sales (in dollars) occurred at the fewer than 1,000 farmers markets currently accepting it. We know that we as a nation can do better. We agree with the President that “Nutrition education and human resource capacity to continue to be a key part of the SNAP to help low income households improve their nutrition levels.”

Using the USDA’s New U.S. Food Environment Atlas: Opportunities for Farmers Market Supporters

Launched last week, the USDA’s new U.S. Food Environment Atlas graphically presents ninety food-related indicators—ranging from access to grocery stores to farmers markets per capita to gallons of soft drinks consumed at home—on an interactive, color-coded map of the United States.