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Apply to Make a Difference: Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants Available

The Greensgrow Farms mobile food delivery system.  With the help of an FMPP grant, Greensgrow Farms has used this truck to supply residents of the Camden/Philadelphia area with fresh, healthy, affordable foods. (Photo courtesy of Greensgrow Farms)

The Greensgrow Farms mobile food delivery system. With the help of an FMPP grant, Greensgrow Farms has used this truck to supply residents of the Camden/Philadelphia area with fresh, healthy, affordable foods. (Photo courtesy of Greensgrow Farms)

Every day, thousands of local farmers and ranchers work hard to ensure that their communities have access to a diverse range of fresh, healthy affordable foods.  While nutritious food is a cornerstone of society’s physical health, a vibrant community also includes sustainable economic opportunities.  By funding projects that support these goals, USDA’s Farmers Market Promotion Program continues to make a difference for farmers at the local level.

The Farmers Market Promotion Program provides grants to eligible entities through a competitive application process (grants.gov).  This year, nearly $10 million is available for farmers markets, community supported agriculture, road-side stands and other direct marketing operations to assist in expanding and promoting market opportunities for local farmers and ranchers.  At the same time, efforts supported by these funds will help make nutritious, local foods more available in communities across the United States.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers these grants.  In 2011, we funded nearly 150 projects, including a grant to Greensgrow Farms Neighborhood Markets in Camden, N.J.  Because of organizations like Greensgrow Farms, Farmers Market Promotion Program funds are being used to make a difference.  They are using the support from USDA to develop neighborhood farmers markets and establish a mobile food delivery system in low income areas of the city.  Participating markets will accept electronic benefit transfer (EBT) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) transactions.  They are also creating a food hub that will utilize refrigeration and processing equipment to keep foods fresh.  Food hubs are innovative business models that bring farmers, distributors, aggregators, buyers and others in the supply chain together to ensure that the regional small and midsize producers get access to the infrastructure they need to grow their business.

This year, we’re looking for projects that will continue to expand healthy food choices for all Americans – especially in food deserts or low-income areas.  Producer associations, nonprofit corporations, agricultural cooperatives, local governments, economic development corporations, regional farmers market authorities, public benefit corporations and tribal governments committed to promoting the goals of the Farmers Market Promotion Program are encouraged  to apply during this  2012 grant season.

Visit our website for program information and to find out more about previously funded projects.  You can also visit grants.gov to learn about the application process or to apply for a grant.  Your electronic application must be received by May 21, 2012.

7 Responses to “Apply to Make a Difference: Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants Available”

  1. enoch says:

    i want to know, if you have a spanish page

  2. Rebecca [USDA Moderator] says:

    Hi Enoch – Here is a link to our Spanish Language page. Enjoy!

    http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=EN_ESPANOL

  3. Allan says:

    The Farmers Market Promotion Program is very exciting! I come from a small city where we have many farmers growing food nearby. We have a local farmers market on Saturdays and it is always a large community event. There are some farmers that just don’t have the marketing resources and grants like these from USDA can really relieve the burden. It is very important that we support our local farmers, because they can provide the freshest and healthiest products. These grants will transform not only the local farmer economy but will bring healthier food to our more rural communities. I really appreciate what USDA has done with this program, and look forward to seeing more farmers at my local farmers market!

  4. Kate says:

    Hi Rebecca, I was referred to you for questions from my local EBT program coordinator: I am in the process of applying for FMPP funding for the farmers market I manage and have a question about an activity we hope to have funded. We need additional coverage for our growing EBT program and need to hire an additional staff person to cover the EBT machines and do EBT outreach in our low-income low access urban community. Must we conduct interviews prior to applying for FMPP funding and know who we intend to hire for the position, or may we apply for funds for a position that has not yet been filled with the intent to interview after grant funding has been received? Thank you!

  5. Rebecca [USDA Moderator] says:

    Thanks for your question, Kate! An FMPP applicant does NOT have to hire for the position before submitting the grant application. You can apply for funds before a position is filled with the intent to interview after grant funding has been received.

  6. Claudette C. Smith says:

    Hi. We have a brand new farmer’s market, and I heard there is a grant program specifically aimed at allowing us to get the technology to accept food stamps. But I cannot find any
    info on a grant that is specifically for funding the technology. Can you tell me where to look? Thank you!

  7. Rebecca [USDA Moderator] says:

    Claudette – check out this blog on funding for farmers markets that want to participate in SNAP. There should be some helpful links and resources for you. Thanks for your comment!

    http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/05/09/funding-helps-farmers%E2%80%99-markets-that-want-to-participate-in-snap/

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