A letter from Jen O'Brien, Executive Director, FMC
Hello FMC Supporters,
Despite the extreme heat affecting most of the country these days, people are flocking to their local markets this summer. FMC's members and supporters have shared amazing photos of the gorgeous produce, delicious prepared foods and many smiling (if sweaty) faces at their markets. These photos and stories have served to further confirm all of the information we've shared in FMC's 'Markets are Up! Talking Points' document, which highlights the positive impact that markets have on rural livelihoods, community health, economic opportunity, and healthy food access...
...National Farmers Market Week is coming up on August 4th through 10th, which provides the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of these impressive achievements. On our end, FMC is partnering with the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace, Wholesome Wave and DC Greens to host a press conference on August 3rd at the Columbia Heights Farmers Market in D.C. The USDA will announce the 2013 farmers market numbers, and FMC will be there to highlight the broad range of positive impacts that markets have on their communities. The event will be full of music, games, tastings and giveaways, so be sure to join us if you're in the D.C. area...
FMC offers Group Membership Discounts to states and regions
Improving farmers markets is at the very heart of the FMC mission. To do this more effectively, FMC is offering a joint membership program for its state networks, adjusting its dues structure to allow FMC to better meet the increasing needs of the farmers market movement. By joining FMC through their respective state organization, markets can receive a rate discount.
FMC to Add Power of Produce Children's Programming Materials to Member Offerings
by Natalie Roper, FMC Research & Education Intern
The Power of Produce Club program and FMC have agreed to collaborate in order to provide resources and support to the growing national "POP movement." By becoming a formalized program under FMC, POP materials will be available to FMC members on the website in coming months.
Canning Workshops Across the Country: 'Discover You Can: Learn Make Share'
For the third year, FMC member markets across the country have participated in the Discover You Can Learn Make Share program, sponsored by Jarden Home Brands (the makers of Ball ®Brand Fresh Preserving Products). The stipend and materials provided by Jarden Home Brands has provided the resources to run canning workshops and demonstrations, and many markets are taking it to the next level – hosting local chefs and celebrities, children's programs and other creative canning-activities. Here are just some of the stories we've heard of this summer's events:
In response to the economic and political pressures to cut funding for federal programs, FMNP funding was cut to $16.8 million, and cut again to $15.3 million in 2013–a 24% decrease from the authorized amount. According to some FMC member markets, these cuts directly diminish incomes of several thousand produce farmers, putting in question their ability to continue selling at markets in the low-income neighborhoods that may need fresh produce the most.