FMPP Seeks Reviewers for 2010

The Farmers Market Promotion Program will have approximately $5 million in funding available in 2010 to encourage and support the viability of farmers markets and direct marketing projects nationwide, with a particular emphasis on those projects that will help increase low-income consumers’ access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables through the use of electronic benefit transfers (EBT). A request for applications, according to USDA AMS, should be posted in January or February.

FMC and CFSC Embark on Farmers Market SNAP Research Project

In September, the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) joined forces with the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) to start work on the Farmers Market SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Research Project. This project was funded by the Convergence Partnership. The purpose of the research is to develop policy and program implementation recommendations for expanding SNAP usage in farmers markets nationwide.

Healthy Incentives Pilot Program Applications Out

The Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), created by the 2008 Farm Bill, supports pilot projects that help the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) evaluate the use of healthy food-purchasing incentives in its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program will work mainly with retailers, but there may also be interest at the state level to incorporate pilot farmers markets.

FMC Member Meeting & Board Election Scheduled for March 17th

The Farmers Market Coalition board of directors has scheduled the 2010 member meeting for 1 p.m. Eastern on March 17th.

FMC Member Meeting & Board Election Scheduled for March 17th

The Farmers Market Coalition board of directors has scheduled the 2010 member meeting for 1 p.m. Eastern on March 17th.

FMC Partners with Wallace Center and SSAWG to Host Farmers Market Manager Short Course

On January 20th and 21st, a diverse line-up of presenters will converge in Chattanooga, Tennessee to lead a farmers market short course in advance of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group’s (SSAWG) 19th Annual Winter meeting, Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference.

Book Review: The Locavore Way

In many ways, Amy Cotler’s newest book, The Locavore Way, reads as a love letter to local eating, poetically describing the beauty and necessity of local food—on page 8, for example, she writes: “local food is different because of the way it bonds us to our families and friends, neighborhoods, community, and region, grounding us in what often seems a detached and fragmented world.”

USDA Announces FSMIP Funds for 2010

On Tuesday, December 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture invited state departments of agriculture, state agricultural experiment stations and other state agencies to submit proposals that help market, transport and distribute American food for funding through the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). FSMIP could be a promising funding opportunity for farmers market programs.

Food Safety Update: Some Victories Gained, Some Questions Remain

Although recent revisions to the food safety bill S.510 address concerns about environmental standards and traceability requirements, the bill still includes several worrisome regulations that place undue burdens on local food systems. FMC describes the work that still needs to be done to create a bill that is safe both for consumer health and for the viability of small and mid-sized farmers.

Leopold Center Study Compares Local, Non-Local Food Prices

Research conducted last summer by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture shows few differences in price for Iowa-grown vegetables, eggs and meat when compared to similar non-local products.