Green City Market receives federal grant.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the release of 86 grants totaling more than $4.5 million under the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), naming Chicago’s Green City Market as the sole recipient statewide. Part of the USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative, the Green City Market was awarded $76,300. According to the USDA, the grants were awarded to encourage and support the viability of farmers markets and direct marketing projects nationwide. “This is a giant step forward for us and will help expand the mission and vision of Green City Market,” states Lyle Allen, Executive Director of the Market. As Chicago’s only year-round farmers market, the mission of the Green City Market is to provide a marketplace for purchasing sustainably grown food and to educate, promote and connect farmers and local producers directly to chefs, restaurateurs and the greater Chicago community through the market itself, educational programming and special events. A national directory of farmers markets is available at www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets.
The FMPP is designed to promote local and regional food systems that help to boost local economies, eliminate child hunger, and increase access to fresh produce in low-income neighborhoods, thereby improving community health and nutrition. Part of the funding is directed to aiding low-income consumers by increasing access to fresh produce through the use of electronic benefit transfers (EBT). In Chicago, the grant dollars will be utilized by the Green City Market for the following:
- The establishment of the Green City Market Farmer Scholarship Program encouraging our farmers to attend workshops, seminars, conferences and classes to ensure they receive 3rd Party Organic and/or Sustainable Certification by 2012 (as required by GCM)
- Developing marketing materials, including promotional assistance with the EBT Program
- Development of a Know Your Food, Know Your Farmer brochure
- Improving the Edible Gardens program
- Staff salaries
As Chicago’s only year-round truly “green” farmers market the Green City Market is creating a national marketplace model for distributing, promoting and educating about local sustainably-grown food. Green City Market is a non-profit organization that values education about quality food and its source. We value farmers who take care of the land; the preservation of sustainably farmed land; a vibrant thriving community of local farms; and consumption of locally grown foods. The Green City Market operates Wednesdays and Saturdays within Lincoln Park; for more information, www.chicagogreencitymarket.org.
Written by Jenn Galdez, Grapevine Public Relations