The Rapidian

Fulton Street Farmers Market celebrates National Farmers Market Week

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has proclaimed Aug. 7-13 as National Farmers Market Week, and Governor Rick Snyder announced the concurrent celebration of Michigan Farmers Market Week.
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Our Goodness is Growing

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Every day this summer, communities are converging to celebrate a simple miracle: farmers, as stewards of rural America, coming together to share a harvest that’s feeding local families. The result? More viable regional economies, increased access to fresh nutritious food, and stronger social networks that help keep communities strong.

United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has proclaimed Aug. 7-13 as National Farmers Market Week, and Governor Rick Snyder announced the concurrent celebration of Michigan Farmers Market Week last Thursday.

Fulton Street Farmers Market is taking the occasion to promote its Our Goodness Is Growing campaign to raise $2 million for market improvements, including:

  • a permanent open-air shed roof
  • a year-round vending building
  • improved traffic flow
  • wheelchair accessibility
  • and wider aisles and a pedestrian-friendly plaza.

This year marks the 12th annual National Farmers Market Week. Since 2000, the number of farmers markets has more than doubled, from 2,863 markets in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010. These numbers have continued to rise in 2011 as farmers markets become fresh food mainstays for shoppers across all socio-economic, political, and ethnic ranges. Farmers markets bolster local economies, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together through a shared social space.

The Fulton Street Farmers Market has operated since 1922, and in 2010 redeemed over $52,000 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits. Recently, the market instituted a Certified Homegrown Program which ensures the integrity of our market as a reliable place for shoppers to connect directly with local farmers.

“Our market supports dozens of local farming families, not to mention producers of baked goods, cheese, and other products,” says Melissa Harrington, Fulton Street's manager. “We see the planned market improvements as an opportunity to expand our vendors' access to customers and our customers' access to local, farm-fresh food year-round.”

The Farmers Market Coalition, a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets, recently recognized the accomplishments of the Fulton Street Farmers Market as one of many across the United States that’s putting farmers first while increasing access to fresh nutritious food to families of all income levels.

"Farmers markets are taking the lead to ensure food security in America's neighborhoods," said Stacy Miller, executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “The Fulton Street Farmers Market is a pioneering example, in the heart of our country, of how farmers markets simultaneously grow healthy farms, healthy people, and healthy communities.”

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