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
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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