On August 1st, the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) submitted recommendations to USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for improved implementation of resources to expand SNAP access in farmers markets. The letter, signed onto by 104 organization, is in response to feedback about the 2012 allocation of $4,054,000 announced in May by FNS to expand the availability of point of sale terminals to farmers markets that are not currently participating in SNAP.
Preliminary findings from a survey of Baltimore SNAP participants at farmers markets found that less than one-third of low-income market shoppers believed that high quality produce was available and affordable in their neighborhoods outside the market; the majority agreed or strongly agreed that the amount of fruits and vegetables they are able to purchase at the farmers market makes a difference in their or their family’s diet. “As part of our long term efforts to measure SNAP usage at several Baltimore farmer’s markets, we were encouraged that farmers markets are making a difference in families diets,” says Anne Palmer, Program Director for the Center for Livable Future at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “Increasing fruit and vegetable purchases is a critical means of changing diets and improving health outcomes.”
…Farmers at seven farmers markets making up the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance in Seattle donated 44,000 pounds of fresh, local, quality produce to food banks in 2011….
Innovative efforts are underway to help farmers better connect with local consumers at farmers markets. Rural markets are increasingly capable of serving a large and more diverse audience thanks to strong support and fresh ideas that keep dollars circulating in the local economy.
“Many farmers today have little time to market their crops,” says Caroline Todd, Director of the Columbia Farmers Market in Missouri and volunteer board member of the national Farmers Market Coalition. “Farmers markets are one place where farmers have opportunities to tell their story, face-to-face, with the people who eat their food. During National Farmers Market Week, FMC encouragess all Americans to meet a farmer and listen to their stories of how food makes it from seed to plate.”
The 52 producers of the Williamsburg Farmers Market in Virginia generated an estimated $48,969.84 in state sales tax in 2011, supporting the state economy. Thirty-two percent of Crescent City Farmers Market shoppers in New Orleans report spending money at nearby businesses, resulting in $3.2 million in projected gross receipts and an annual contribution of $151,621 to local sales tax revenue.
Farmers Markets Forge Partnerships to Educate Communities About Health, Agriculture, and the EnvironmentJen O'Brien
In thousands of communities across the country this summer, farmers markets are more than simply a place to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables. They are hubs for information and home to thousands of innovative partnerships that teach skills and expand knowledge about food, health, and agriculture.
For Immediate Release Contact : Elizabeth Comiskey 877-362-0553 firstname.lastname@example.org August 10, 2012 Farmers Market Coalition Celebrates Civic Engagement & Volunteerism During National Farmers Market Week The richly celebrated benefits of farmers markets –local economic dollars, direct interaction with farmers, fresh food and decreased fuel consumption, just to name a few –would not be a reality…
Every day this summer, communities are converging to celebrate a simple miracle: farmers coming together to share a harvest that’s feeding local families. The result? More viable regional economies; increased access to fresh, nutritious food; and stronger social networks that help keep communities healthy.
When I became Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition in 2009, I knew it was a privilege that I would work to earn, every day. I follow in the steps of many inspiring people in the farmers market movement. I am gifted with the opportunity to walk aside (and learn from) the thousands of organizers and advocates around the country who work hard every day to make the miracle of farmers markets a reality in their communities, or help advocate on their behalf from city halls to Capitol Hill. The faith that has been invested in me as a young leader has not gone unnoticed, or unappreciated.