For Immediate Release
Contact : Diana Jancek
August 1, 2010
SWEETWATER LOCAL FOODS MARKET CELEBRATES
NATIONAL FARMERS MARKET WEEK
United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has proclaimed August 1-7, 2010 as National Farmers Market Week.
This year marks the 11th annual National Farmers Market Week. Since the USDA began declaring National Farmers Market Week in 2000, the number of farmers markets has almost doubled, from 2,863 markets in 2000 to 5,274 in 2009.
According to the USDA, Sweetwater Local Foods Market is one of the approximately 6,000 in the country operating in 2010, of the more than 220 in Michigan. The Sweetwater Local Foods Market began in 2005, and currently has 16 farmers selling a wide variety of products at the area’s only year-round farmers market, including Certified Organic blueberries, Certified Naturally Grown pastured poultry, pork, & beef, organic baked goods, goat & cow cheeses, and so much more! The market was one of a small handful to accept SNAP/EBT Bridge Cards back in 2006, along with Project Fresh Coupons. Vendors also regularly donate to area food banks.
“Farmers markets are good for you for health, good for your community, and good for the economy” says Stacy Miller, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition, a nonprofit supporting farmers markets across the country. “During Farmers Market Week, we invite everyone to celebrate the freshest foods from America’s most entrepreneurial farmers by supporting their local farmers markets.”
“Our market slogan is ‘Healthy, Humane & Homegrown’, and we think that philosophy accounts for why our market is growing in popularity every year” says Diana Jancek, Market Manager of Sweetwater Local Foods Market. “Come celebrate National Farmers Market Week with us!”
.Other facts about farmers markets:
- California, New York, Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Kentucky are the states with the most farmers markets.
- The USDA estimates that farmers markets provide income opportunities for at least 150,000 direct-marketing farmers and food producers across the country.
- More than 870 markets operate nationwide between November and May in 2009, a time often considered ‘off season.’ This number is growing rapidly.
- It’s estimated that approximately $1.3 billion in direct farm-to-consumer sales occurred in farmers markets in 2009.
- Farmers markets accepted over $44 million in WIC (Women, Infant and Children) and SFNP (Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program) vouchers in 2009 – making fresh food available to millions of low income families.
- More than 1,000 farmers markets are estimated to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in 2010. Between 2008 and 2009, the amount of SNAP dollars redeemed at farmers markets increased more than 100%.
- Farmers at farmers markets donate hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh produce to local social service agencies across the country each year.