The ten farmers markets from across the United States described below are the recipients of ten grants, totaling approximately $420,000.
Funding for these grants is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The grants are part of a three-year, $3 million grant-making program, which began in 2005 and is also funded by The Ford Foundation.
The one year grants will provide farmers markets with the resources to innovate to address broader community impacts, not only with funding but with peer networking opportunities and communications expertise to augment outreach efforts, while building their capacity to succeed as effectively run, financially sustainable organizations.
Markets receiving financial and technical support range from a youth and community garden focused market in Brooklyn, NY to a 175-year market in Toledo, OH, to a micro-loan and training program for minority and immigrant vendors in Takoma Park, MD. This support provides the means for markets to forge new partnerships with financial institutions, food pantries, universities, urban agriculture groups, and even a children’s museum. Some markets intend to provide opportunities for youth, immigrants, and disadvantaged individuals to become market vendors. All the market grantees plan to expand their customer base to better serve low income shoppers and ethnically diversifying populations.
The grantees were chosen for their innovation, demonstrated capacity to effectively manage a challenging project, their ability to address the compelling needs of their communities, and their ability to sustain the program in the future. They are as follows:
Farmers’ Market Foods Infusion Project: Connecting City Farmers’ Markets & New Haven Families through a Literacy-Based Preschool Curriculum
Grantee: CitySeed, Inc.
New Haven, Connecticut
Grant Amount: $39,200
CitySeed, Inc. will partner with the Connecticut Children’s Museum to promote the City Farmers’ Markets, healthy eating and child literacy through the development of an innovative curriculum and coupon program. 3,000 New Haven children and their parents/caretakers will be encouraged to utilize the four CitySeed-operated markets through their involvement in literacy-based programming at the Connecticut Children Museum and at New Haven School Readiness sites throughout the city.
High Springs, Florida Food Security Project
Grantee: City of High Springs
High Springs, Florida
Grant Amount: $35,500
The City of High Springs will develop plans for improving and updating the market location to allow for an increasing number of vendors and customers. In an effort to advance the market as a neighborhood gathering space the city will implement strategies and ideas generated from a placemaking workshop. Additionally, they will create a community gardening project to encourage new growers and expand sustainable food sources for their community. Funding will also offset decreased state support for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and the market will implement an EBT pilot program. Finally, the city will create a three-year sustainability/business plan for the market.
The Crossroads Farmers Market Project
Grantee: City of Takoma Park
Takoma Park, Maryland
Grant Amount: $60,000
The Takoma Park Farmers Market will open a satellite location in the busy, ethnically diverse Takoma-Langley Crossroads area. To encourage the participation of minority and immigrant farmers growing or starting farms in the region, the market organization will partner with CityFirst Bank, a community development financial institution (CDFI) in Washington, DC, to establish a micro-lending and technical assistance program. Both market locations will implement a wireless EBT, credit/debit card processing terminal system to facilitate food stamp use and will also reach out to WIC families to encourage them to invest their WIC Farmers Market Vouchers at the Crossroads market. Finally, the satellite location will benefit from a placemaking workshop and implemented strategies.
Building Sustainability and Community at the Webb City Farmers’ Market
Grantee: University of Missouri-Extension, Jasper County
Webb City, Missouri
Grant Amount: $32,500
The Webb City Farmers Market will expand its services through the hiring of a market manager. Hmong growers will receive marketing training and technical assistance to increase their sales; the market will also reach out to the Latino community beginning with the securing of at least one Latino vendor and the creation of Spanish language promotional materials and on-site events. Steps will be taken to facilitate handicap accessibility, ease overcrowding, and generally improve comfort at the market. An EBT/debit pilot program will also be instituted to improve access to lower-income customers and provide new sources if income for farmers. Finally, the market will create a three-year sustainability/business plan for the market.
Ashe County Farmers Market
Grantee: Ashe County Partnership for Children
Jefferson, North Carolina
Grant Amount: $29,300
The Ashe County Farmers Market and Ashe County Partnership for Children will work together to develop and support the operation of the newly opened Creative Food Ventures Kitchen, a shared-use commercial kitchen. Vendors and community members will use the kitchen’s food preparation and storage facilities with the goal of increasing the number of vendors at the market; expanding the variety of value-added products offered at the market; and creating business opportunities for the surrounding area. In addition, the market will host a placemaking workshop and apply ideas generated from the community to their market shed.
Urban Agriculture and FMNP to Strengthen a Low-Income Market – East New York Farms!
Grantee: United Community Centers, Inc.
Brooklyn, New York
Grant Amount: $48,742
East New York Farms! will move the location of the East New York Farmers Market to a closed street in front of their half-acre urban farm for increased visibility and convenience, as well as for the greater potential for placemaking activities. In addition, the organization will double the size of their urban farm to one acre through a land donation from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which will help increase their market’s supply of fresh, locally grown produce. To better serve their customers who use FMNP coupons, the market will hire certified nutrition educators to conduct cooking demonstrations in local WIC centers and organize focus groups with FMNP recipients to discuss how to lower existing barriers to coupon redemption.
Healthy Markets, Healthy Neighbors
Grantee: Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet)
Grant Amount: $38,000
The Athens Farmers Market will partner with ACEnet to create new marketing programs to attract low-income customers and increase sales for farmers and other vendors. To supplement current vendor training, new classes will be taught introducing the new EBT system and marketing programs, as well as best practices for financial systems and customer service with EBT, WIC and Senior FMNP. In addition, the market will create a three-year sustainability/business plan.
Strengthening Our Market – For the Next 175 Years
Grantee: Lucas County Improvement Corporation
Grant Amount: $41,000
The Toledo Farmers Market will develop and host food and health activities, such as cooking demonstrations and community events. They will provide more outreach to low-income customers to better support their year-old EBT program. As a strategic partner, the University of Toledo’s Urban Affairs Center will help to broaden the market’s influence in the Toledo area. Finally, the market will create a three-year sustainability/business plan.
Satellite Farmers’ Markets, Urban Master Gardeners & Community Gardens: Creatively Building Community & Food Sustainability in Richmond, Virginia
Grantee: William Byrd Community House
Grant Amount: $48,800
The 17th Street Farmers Market Advisory Council will establish a satellite market on the grounds of and in partnership with the William Byrd Community House where they will work closely with an on-site community garden, food pantry, and youth and senior programs. In addition, an Urban Master Gardener program will be created for city residents to help provide volunteers for the market and garden. Finally, a Laptop Librarian will work as an ‘information connector’ generating ideas and linking the WBCH, the WBCH market, the 17th Street Farmers Market, the community gardening organization and the Urban Gardener program together.
Growing Community – Fondy Farmers’ Market
Grantee: Fondy Food Center, Inc.
Grant Amount: $44,700
The Fondy Farmers’ Market will reach out to Milwaukee food pantry clients through on-site cooking demonstrations at a local food pantry, as well as provide clients with cookware sets and coupons for market produce so they can prepare healthy food at home. To increase vendor participation the market will partner with local service agencies and a community gardening project to develop and train non-traditional market vendors in agriculture and retail marketing. Finally, the farmers market will produce a bi-weekly newsletter targeting current and potential customers featuring nutrition education, farmer and product information, shopping tips, and market activities.