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USDA Announces Grants for Farmers Market Promotion Program to Expand Consumer Access to Food, Promote New Income Opportunities for Producers
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2010 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced recipients of the 2010 Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP).
"This year's farmers market awards will help strengthen local food systems and rural economies in communities nationwide," Merrigan said. "Many of these projects support increasing access to healthy foods in underserved communities or food deserts by creating direct-to-consumer marketing channels and making electronic benefits transfer (EBT) available in farmers markets."
The program exceeded its mandate to award at least 10 percent of total FMPP funds for new electronic benefits transfer (EBT) projects at farmers markets. More than one million dollars will go to 27 new EBT projects, with another eight projects receiving an additional $235,103 in support of existing EBT projects. These grants amount to approximately 30 percent of the $4,099,897 total announced. These projects will help increase access to locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers using funds provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
Among the substantial number of projects supporting low-income consumer access to fresh, local foods are five urban "food deserts." A key priority for USDA and the Administration is increased access to fresh, healthful foods in "food deserts" in the U.S. – areas with few, if any, grocery stores or nearby sources of affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables. FMPP is helping to improve this access with over $273,000 in grants targeted at increasing the availability of fresh, local products in these self-identified food deserts, and ensuring that they are affordable. These grants will support a portion of the EBT projects funded that allow low-income consumers to use their federal nutrition program benefits for purchases at farmers markets, and create stronger and broader supply and distribution channels among the growers providing these fresh local foods.
In an effort to improve rural economies, approximately 62 percent of this year's awardees will recruit and train the next generation of small farmers (beginning, immigrant, and under-served) and support the continued viability of current producers. Training in subjects ranging from conservation management and growing practices, to accepting electronic benefits transfer (EBT) payments, to on-line marketing will help keep rural America prosperous. Several other projects will provide training in processing and storage techniques to extend the market season. All of these projects offer opportunities to generate income for local and rural producers and keep them viable.
Approximately 28 percent of the awards offer further professional development opportunities for farmers to strengthen their business management skills, including training in risk management, certification, and good agricultural practices. Just as FMPP invests in farmers, these grants also invest in building the capacity of markets, ensuring that a cadre of farmers market managers and boards of directors have the skills to keep their markets thriving and offering new and continued market outlets to local farmers and producers.
Virtually all of the 2010 grants are strengthening local and rural economies and 16 new, direct markets will be created by this year's awardees. Investments in infrastructure to support value-added product development and distribution account for approximately 28 percent of total awards. Several projects will further develop statewide and regional producer associations to increase the market power of groups of small farmers.
FMPP was created through an amendment of the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976 to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities. Since its inception, FMPP has awarded nearly $14.5 million to increase direct marketing income and consumer access to local farm products.
Under the funding announced today, 77 grants were awarded in 34 states for a total of $4,099,897; new and existing EBT projects are noted as follows:
- Wrangell Medical Center – Wrangell – $70,730
- City of Thorne Bay, Alaska – Thorne Bay – $45,859
- Community Food Connections, Inc. – Phoenix – $58,273
- University of Arkansas – Fayetteville – $48,102 (new EBT)
- Community Assistance Network – Crescent City – $44,684 (existing EBT)
- Regents of the University of California – Davis – $57,144
- Mandela MarketPlace – Oakland – $50,496
- Santa Rosa Junior College – Santa Rosa – $65,719
- Los Angeles Mission College, Office of the President – Sylmar – $75,919
- North Coast Opportunities, Inc. – Ukiah – $97,629
- Billings Forge Community Works – Hartford – $46,704 (existing EBT)
- Delaware State University – Dover – $76,958
- Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations – Florida City – $54,674
- Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council – Stuart – $60,204
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Poor People's Church of Love – Atlanta – $30,430 (new EBT)
- Upper Ocmulgee River Resource, Conservation and Development Council, Inc. – Lawrenceville – $37,547 (new EBT $19,182; existing EBT $18,365)
- Georgia Southern Research and Service Foundation, Inc. – Statesboro – $23,356
- Kauai Food Bank (KFB) Farmers Markets New EBT Promotion – Kaua'i – $53,529 (new EBT)
- Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation – Kealakekua – $22,991
- Hawaii's Volcano Circus (HVC) – Pahoa – $25,018 (new EBT)
- Experimental Station – Chicago – $61,784 (existing EBT)
- Woodstock Farmers Market, NFP – Woodstock – $13,847 (new EBT)
- Indiana Cooperative Development Center, Inc. – Indianapolis – $53,160
- Orange County Community Development, Inc., dba Orange County HomeGrown – Paoli – $59,862 (existing EBT $5,890)
- North Iowa Farmers' Market, Inc. – Mason City – $64,346
- Iowa League of RC&D's, Inc. – Oakland – $82,164
- Louisiana State University Agricultural Center – Baton Rouge – $21,352
- Historic Lower 9th Ward Council for Arts & Sustainability – New Orleans – $39,417 (new EBT)
- Town Riverdale Park Farmers Market – Riverdale Park – $33,149
- Crossroads Farmers Market – Takoma Park – $50,724 (existing EBT)
- University of Massachusetts Amherst – Amherst – $81,439
- Nuestras Raices, Inc. – Holyoke – $82,587
- The Food Project, Inc. – Lincoln – $63,657
- Three Rivers Resource, Conservation and Development Council, Inc – Mankato – $34,814 (new EBT)
- Renville County – Olivia – $17,594
- Friends of the City Market – Kansas City – $67,254
- Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce – Sedalia – $8,438
- City of Albuquerque – Albuquerque – $63,914
- Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute – Santa Fe – $54,086 (new EBT $4,000)
- St. Johns Bread and Life Program, Inc. – Brooklyn – $10,254 (new EBT)
- Farmers Market Federation of NY, Inc. – Fayetteville – $33,907
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Delaware County – Hamden – $31,959
- Harvest Home Farmers' Market, Inc. – New York – $92,455 (new EBT)
- International Rescue Committee, Inc. – New York – $71,162
- The South Wedge Planning Committee, Inc. – Rochester – $8,854 (existing)
- Certified Naturally Grown – Stone Ridge – $44,564
- Mitchell County – Baskerville – $39,585
- The Leaflight, Inc. – Chapel Hill – $89,880 (new EBT)
- North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University – Greensboro – $70,096
- NC Cooperative Extension for Foothills Farmers' Market, Inc – Shelby – $45,746
- North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association – Bottineau – $17,394
- Appalachian Center for Economic Networks – Athens – $46,424
- Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative – Okmulgee – $75,605
- Community Action Program of East Central Oregon (CAPECO) – Pendleton – $40,498 (new EBT $12,174)
- Silverton Hospital, Inc. – Silverton – $28,224 (new EBT)
- Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation – Springfield – $33,894 (new EBT)
- Nurture Nature Center, Inc. – Easton – $84,209
- Center for Community Action – Everett – $22,402 (new EBT)
- Reading Terminal Market Corporation – Philadelphia – $96,482 (new EBT)
- The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation – Philadelphia – $89,613 (new EBT $7,038)
- Urban Tree Connection – Philadelphia – $89,654
- South Carolina Association of Farmers Markets – Columbia – $62,568 (new EBT $19,404)
- City of Greenville – Greenville – $17,804 (new EBT)
- Vermillion Area Farmers' Market – Vermillion – $51,142 (existing EBT $4,460)
- Community House Cooperative, Inc. – Newport – $68,248
- City of Texarkana, Texas – Texarkana – $35,432 (new EBT)
- United Way of Northern Utah – Ogden – $40,214 (new EBT)
- Association of Africans Living in Vermont, Inc. – Burlington – $33,954 (new EBT)
- Friends of the Farmers Market, Inc. – Blacksburg – $50,041 (new EBT $25,220)
- Jefferson Area Board of Aging – Charlottesville – $54,834
- The Highland Center – Monterey – $77,653
- Western Virginia Workforce Development Board – Roanoke – $82,856
- North Olympic Peninsula Resource, Conservation and Development – Port Angeles – $79,408 (new EBT)
- Washington State Farmers Market Association – Suquamish – $87,509
- County of Pierce – Ellsworth – $39,029 (new EBT)
- Growing Power, Inc – Milwaukee – $66,341
- Waukesha County U.W. Extension – Waukesha – $90,449 (new EBT)
Project summaries are available on the Farmers Market Promotion Program Web site at www.ams.usda.gov/FMPP
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