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Eat Fresh Maryland Farmers Market Network



Program Overview 

USDA has awarded a Farmers' Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grant to Future Harvest CASA to implement a project to expand food access at farmers' markets in Maryland food deserts and increase collaboration amongst markets accepting federal nutrition program benefits statewide.

This project has two main goals: 1) to increase access to local produce in Maryland by supporting the establishment of 6 new Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) programs in farmers markets located in food deserts and 2) the expansion of existing EBT projects through the Eat Fresh Maryland network. The combination of these will not only aid in pooling resources to lower the costs of planning for, implementing, and running EBT programs at market but will also increase revenues for producers.

Piloted in the 2011 market season, the Eat Fresh Maryland Network is a program of the Crossroads Community Food Network based in Takoma Park, Maryland. It is a public-private partnership currently comprised of more than 20 stakeholders who are committed to increasing access to local food for all Marylanders.

In 2012, Future Harvest CASA and the Crossroads Community Food Network will work to support the establishment of 6 new EBT programs at Maryland farmers markets in food deserts as well as continue to strengthen collaboration and joint marketing efforts. If you are a market manager seeking to begin accepting or to expand redemption of federal nutrition benefits to increase your customer base and revenue for your producers, please consider participating in this exciting new FMPP project.

There are many ways to get involved:

• If your market is in a food desert and you want to start an EBT program, your market may qualify to be one of the six new EBT programs supported by this grant;

• If your market is not in food desert and you want to start an EBT program, you can join the Eat Fresh Maryland Network and gain access to in-person workshops, marketing materials, best practices, and support to get your program up and running;

• If your market has an EBT program already, you can join the Eat Fresh Maryland Network and use marketing materials, workshops, and support to strengthen and grow your established program.

This project aims to create a replicable model for nationwide use – join us and help Maryland be a national leader in farmers' markets innovations!

For more information, contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (301) 891-7244 or visit http://eatfreshmd.wordpress.com.


This publication is based on work supported under by the Farmers' Market Promotion Program (FMPP) Grant Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, under Award No. MD-250-2011-G-1347. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

Coming Events

JUNE 13 * THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN CANCELLED *

FARMERS: Increase Your Farmers Market Revenue with WIC FVC and FMNP
Market Tour and Workshop - Wednesday, June 13, 12 - 3 pm
Registration:  Free

Crossroads Farmers Market, 7676 New Hampshire Avenue, Takoma Park, MD

eatfreshmdlogo

Save the date for this informative session for farmers on the nuts and bolts of accepting federal nutrition benefits at the farmers markets. In addition to observing transactions involving electronic benefits transfer (EBT), WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers and WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks (FVC), the workshop will include the required training for farmers to be certified to accept WIC FMNP and FVC at their market stands.

Each year, more than $11 million in WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks, a federal nutrition program for low-income families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, circulate in Maryland alone. This, and other federal nutrition benefits programs such as SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, represent a significant and largely untapped potential revenue stream for producers. Join us from 12 - 3 pm on Wednesday, June 13 at Takoma Park's Crossroads Farmers Market- a national leader in promotion of WIC, SNAP and Double Dollars matching programs at markets -- to learn how you can most effectively access this customer base. We'll meet at the market to see these programs in action, speak with participating farmers, and learn best practices for marketing to WIC and SNAP shoppers. Part two of the afternoon will include a full Maryland FMNP (WIC and Seniors) and WIC FVC training, so you'll walk away with the certification to put your new knowledge to practice!


Past Events

MARCH 24

FARMERS: Increase Your Farmers Market Revenue with WIC FVC and FMNP
Market Tour and Workshop - Saturday, March 24, 9 am - 12 pm
Registration:  Free

Meet at the market Managers tent at the Waverly/32nd Street Farmers Market, 32nd Street and Barclay St., Baltimore, MD

eatfreshmdlogo

Save the date for this informative session for farmers on the nuts and bolts of accepting federal nutrition benefits at the farmers markets. In addition to observing transactions involving electronic benefits transfer (EBT), WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers and WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks (FVC), the workshop will include the required training for farmers to be certified to accept WIC FMNP and FVC at their market stands.

Each year, more than $11 million in WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks, a federal nutrition program for low-income families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, circulate in Maryland alone. This, and other federal nutrition benefits programs such as SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, represent a significant and largely untapped potential revenue stream for producers. Join us from 9am-noon on Saturday, March 24 at Baltimore's Waverly/32nd Street Farmers Market- a market highly regarded around the country for its high WIC and SNAP redemption rates-- to learn how you can most effectively access this customer base. We'll meet at the market to see these programs in action, speak with participating farmers, and learn best practices for marketing to WIC and SNAP shoppers. Part two of the morning will include a full Maryland FMNP (WIC and Seniors) and WIC FVC training, so you'll walk away with the certification to put your new knowledge to practice!