Senator Stabenow Announces Support for Southeast Michigan Farmers Markets and Local Food Initiatives

Friday, October 02, 2015

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced $641,539 for seven Southeast Michigan farmers markets and local food initiatives. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs, which help expand access to farmers markets and food hubs and develop new opportunities for farmers to sell locally. Eastern Market in Detroit also received a grant from the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Farmers Market Support program.

"When we grow things here and make things here, we create jobs here in Michigan," said Senator Stabenow. "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. We all know buying local is a win for our economy. It's also a win for Michigan agriculture and consumers and these grants will help make that process easier across Michigan."

Support for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs was greatly expanded in the 2014 Farm Bill, which was authored by Senator Stabenow and signed into law by President Obama in Michigan last year. These grant programs help 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:

Neighbors Building Brightmoor in Detroit will receive $99,000 to support local farmers by providing them refrigerated storage space and a commercial kitchen. This will help farmers sell more products within the community.

Mighty Fine Poultry Processing, LLC in Ann Arbor will receive $24,895 to explore establishing a USDA-certified poultry processing facility in the region.

Atlas Wholesale Food Company's Detroit Food Chain will receive $100,000 to promote the sale of local goods and encourage more restaurants to buy locally.

Friends of Lincoln Park Farmers Market will receive $49,198 to increase the number of market vendors and encourage people to buy fresh and local produce.

Eastern Market will receive $249,663 through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Farmers Market Support Grant program to help expand access to healthy foods for people who often face difficulties accessing fresh, nutritious food. Eastern Market will also receive $93,783 to help growers sell their products in new markets.

Pittsfield Charter Township will receive $25,000 to encourage people to buy fresh and local produce. The market will also implement an educational campaign that offers healthy cooking demonstrations.