Agriculture Chairwoman Stabenow Announces Nearly $150,000 to Support Southeast Michigan Farmers Markets and Local Food Initiatives

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced $149,794 in support for three Southeast Michigan farmers markets and local food initiatives. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, which helps expand access to farmers markets and food hubs and develop new opportunities for farmers to sell locally.

"When we grow things here and make things here, we create jobs here in Michigan. Local food hubs and farmers markets connect families and small businesses with local farmers, which makes it easier to buy Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables," said Stabenow. "Buying local is a win for our economy, a win for Michigan agriculture and a win for consumers who will have better access to local food choices."

Support for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program was greatly expanded in the 2014 Farm Bill, which was authored by Senator Stabenow and signed into law by President Obama in Michigan earlier this year. The new Farmers Market And Local Food Promotion Program helps improve and expand farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities.

Project details below:

Fair Food Network will receive $100,000 to develop new products; improve access to local food for communities; and support entrepreneurship through the Fair Food Network's Fair Food Fund by providing capital to food businesses to help them grow and create jobs.

The City of Farmington Hills will receive $25,000 to develop a comprehensive feasibility study to revitalize the Grand River Corridor by distributing local, healthy food in a renovated historic building near the area's biggest employer, the Botsford Hospital.

Growing Hope in Ypsilanti will receive $24,794 to develop business plans and partnership/operational agreements to increase distribution to corner stores; mobile markets, farm stands, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)-style boxes; an incubator and processing kitchen; and expanded aggregation/packing facilities. CSAs allow people to buy into a community farm in return for fruit, vegetables and other agricultural products throughout the growing season.

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