Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
Fresh, nutritious food is a cornerstone of a community’s physical health, but community health is more than physical well-being. A vibrant, healthy community encompasses both the well-being of consumers through improved health, and the well-being of producers through improved economic outcomes. Making this connection, and providing healthy, affordable food supplies, are goals of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. Read more »
USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon poses with one of the many Maryland farmers (no name available) selling fresh produce at the Crossroads Farmers’ Market in Tacoma Park, Maryland, Wednesday October 13.
I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at the Crossroads Farmers Market in Takoma Park, Md. The market’s motto is, “Bringing fresh, local, healthy food to individuals of all incomes and backgrounds,” something we consistently support at the USDA. Just last week Crossroads received a $50,724 grant from The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) to spread this message throughout a network of markets in Maryland, and I enjoyed seeing all the enthusiasm there on a glorious day in October. Read more »
Deputy Secretary Merrigan far left shares a humors moment with , Local Food Hub Director Marisa Vrooman, USDA Rural Development State Director Ellen Davis, Local Food Hub Director Kate Collier and Local Food Hub staffer, Alan Moore.
“The Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) are myth-busters, plain and simple,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan at a recent funding announcement held at JABA’s main office and Adult Daycare Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog.
An integral part of the Let’s Move! initiative is gaining a critical boost when it comes to solving the challenge of childhood obesity and improving the health and nutrition of all Americans. Today, USDA is proud to announce new investments that will help connect farms with families at the local level by providing grants to local farmers markets, producers, and farmers. Farmers markets across the country help families make the right choice when it comes to fresh produce and foods by bringing their harvest right to our communities. Read more »
Farmers Markets offer in season, local produce to communities nationwide
Cross-Posted from the Let’s Move! Blog
Have you ever wanted fresh, local produce but didn’t know how to find the nearest farmers market? The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) makes it easy with the National Farmers Market search engine, which lists more than 6,100 markets across the nation. Markets can be searched by name, city, zip code, and several other keyword fields. Read more »
The Colorado Farmers Market Association, the City Heights Open Air & Certified Farmers Market in San Diego, Calif. and Greenmarket in New York City did it with help of the Farmers Market Promotion Program. The Athens Farmers Market in Athens, Ohio was among the first market in Ohio to do it and Detroit’s Eastern Market is seeing record-breaking sales now that they have joined the program.
These farmers markets are among the more than 1,100 farmers markets and farm stands that have implemented the Electronic Benefits Transfer system and now accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at their markets.
Implementing a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at farmers markets can sometimes feel overwhelming. To make it easier, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), in collaboration with the non-profit Project for Public Spaces, has just released “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at Farmers Market: A How-To Handbook” .
The Handbook provides essential guidance for farmers market managers installing an Electronic Benefits Transfer machine and advice for making the program work successfully for vendors and customers. It also features a list of resources, a glossary of important terms, and several case studies from farmers markets that have successfully implemented an Electronic Benefits Technology system. This Handbook is part of the USDA’s commitment to building more direct market opportunities for producers, expanding both of these benefits at farmers markets, and addressing food deserts, especially those in low-income areas.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is not the only food assistance program welcomed at farmers markets. Customers can take advantage of the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, a voucher program specifically for low-income seniors. Families qualifying for the Women, Infants and Children Program can use those benefits at farmers markets across the country as well. For those customers on the lookout for a farmers market that welcomes these benefits, the USDA Farmers Market Directory has a comprehensive list.
SNAP at Farmers Markets Handbook