Monday, March 01, 2010

USDA Announces Farmers Market Grant Funding For Let's Move!

Application process opens after the jump
There are many, many components to First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign, because it's a broad attempt to combat child obesity with as many tweaks to the foodscape as possible. Farmers markets have been identified by USDA as a good way to bring healthy, affordable foods to underserved areas, and to this end, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan has just announced that $5 million in funding for the 2010 Farmers Market Grant Program (FMPP) is being earmarked for Let's Move!.

Those who run farmers markets, and those who want to start farmers markets are eligible to apply for the grants. USDA can provide plenty of guidance for starting a farmers market, including a new booklet, published last Fall, about how to run a market on Federal land. (Merrigan, in photo)

Merrigan is the chair of USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which launched last September, and seeks to marry local farmers with local citizens and school meal programs. There are now 5,274 farmers markets nationwide, an increase of 13% since 2008, and the USDA hopes there will be many more.

Info for grant applicants
The grant application period runs from March 1 to April 15. Information will be posted today on the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) website at

Applications received after April 15, 2010, will not be considered.

For more information, contact Carmen Humphrey, Program Manager, Farmers Market Promotion Program, AMS, 1800 M Street, N.W., Room 3012-South Tower, Washington, D.C. 20036; phone (202) 694-4000; fax (202) 694-5949.