Across the country, coast to coast, Alaska to Hawaii, farmers markets are providing people with fresh, locally sourced food and bringing communities together.
USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack has proclaimed (PDF, 212 KB) August 7-13 as National Farmers Market Week in order to champion the direct-to-consumer producers, market managers, and customers that make their communities come alive during market days. USDA recognizes and celebrates those that make farmers market happen, and customers that continue to support them.
USDA and Biden-Harris Administration leadership have embarked on a historic journey to transform the food system as we know it. Building a better, more resilient food system is a top priority for the nation, and local and regional food systems, including farmers markets, will play a vital part.
As we work to transform the food system, one of USDA’s goals is to ensure today’s markets work better for both small farmers and the families they support, so they can continue making more nutritious food available to more people at more affordable prices.
Throughout the week, USDA will be sharing stories of people who have used USDA grants to improve their local food operations. Their stories come from Seeds of Success, a story map that highlights accomplishments and lessons learned from Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) grant recipients. A few examples include:
Franklin County Farmers Market in Frankfort, KY focused on closing accessibility gaps by adding FreshRx, a prescription vegetable program for expectant moms, and a voucher program to help vendors sell fresh produce directly to schools.
Delcambre Seafood & Farmers Market in Declambre, LA used grant funding to update and re-launch their e-commerce site in 2020 realizing a 1400% increase in sales over two months. Their development of a future seafood hub will host retail, packing, shipping, commerce, and storage space to help the survival of the coastal seafood industry on a local scale.
These stories showcase how farmers markets play a critical role in the transformation by connecting producers and consumers while contributing to a fair, competitive, nutritious, and resilient food system.