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Funding helps farmers’ markets move to online sales, invest in infrastructure
√ Builds upon state’s work to increase resiliency of food supply chain
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced $700,000 is available to New York’s farmers markets through the Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program.
His team said, “Grant funding will help farmers strengthen their markets and make local food more accessible to consumers by establishing online sales, improving infrastructure, and enhancing marketing and promotion efforts. Funding for the program was included in this year’s enacted budget and is a part of Gov. Hochul’s State of the State commitment to New York’s agricultural industry, and increasing the resiliency of the state’s food supply chain following COVID-19.”
Ball said, “The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that it is imperative to have a strong, flexible, streamlined food supply chain right here in New York state. The Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program is one more facet of Gov. Hochul’s plan to support that supply chain, providing farmers’ markets with funding needed to offer online sales and invest in infrastructure and promotion, and ultimately reach more consumers and get more local New York foods onto tables across the state.”
Funding available through the Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program will be available for projects that help markets build out infrastructure, including booths and signage, and electronic infrastructure like internet platform development for online sales capabilities. Projects can also include marketing and promotion initiatives for markets across the state, expanding their reach to even more consumers.
Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, local municipalities, business improvement districts, local chambers of commerce, and public benefit corporations that currently operate one or more farmers’ markets in New York. Funding will be divided into two sections, with $300,000 dedicated to grant awards of $10,000 to $50,000, and $400,000 dedicated to awards of $50,000 to $100,000.
For more information on the program and how to apply, visit http://www.nyscr.ny.gov/adsOpen.cfm?ID=1F3BDFB9-A1D1-450F-8B04-6611784562CD. The deadline for proposals is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14. Applications for funding must conform to the format provided in the Grants Gateway. A webinar with program information will take place Nov. 17. Learn more and register.
Farmers’ Market Federation of New York Executive Director Diane Eggert said, “The pandemic created significant hardships for farmers’ markets to ensure they could continue to connect farmers with local customers. The COVID-19 guidelines were costly to maintain, in both dollars and in human capital, but markets knew it was critical to maintain the marketplace to keep farmers whole, and customers connected to local food. This grant opportunity will go a long way to assist markets in recovering from the costs of the pandemic and maintaining vibrant marketplaces with new, innovative ways to build relationships between farmers and consumers.”
The state’s Food Supply Working Group, which met during the pandemic, released a report in early 2022 outlining recommendations for how to improve the resiliency and self-reliance of the food system statewide. The state has additionally established a working group on Improving urban and rural consumer access to locally produced healthy foods to connect upstate and downstate New York on food procurement and distribution, which is preparing to release a report in the coming months.
Today, New York has more than 400 farmers’ markets, 250 farm stands, and 10 mobile markets.