ALBANY — New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced that $700,000 has been awarded to 11 farmers’ market organizations across the state through the Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program. Funding for the program was included in the FY 2023 Enacted Budget and is a part of Governor Hochul’s 2023 State of the State commitment to New York’s agricultural industry and to increase the resiliency of the state’s food supply chain following COVID-19.
Commissioner Ball said, “One of the biggest lessons that we learned from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic was the importance of having a strong, flexible, and streamlined local food supply chain, and one of the greatest tools we have for getting farm-fresh food directly into our communities are farmers’ markets. The Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program provides farmers’ markets with funding that will help them reach more consumers in new, innovative ways, build greater bonds between farmers and their customers, and get more local New York foods onto tables across the state.”
Funding was awarded to 11 farmers’ market organizations across the state to strengthen their markets and make local food more available to consumers by establishing online sales, improving infrastructure, and expanding marketing and outreach efforts. The awarded recipients include:
- Gardenshare, Inc., to consolidate seven of St. Lawrence County’s farmers’ markets (North Country);
- North East Community Center, to expand Millerton Farmers’ Market Infrastructure (Mid-Hudson);
- Council on the Environment, for the Grow NYC Greenmarket Resiliency Project (New York City);
- CCE Sullivan County, for the Sullivan Catskills Farmers’ Markets (Southern Tier);
- CCE Broome County, to create a shared online platform for all Broome County farmers’ markets (Southern Tier);
- City of Dunkirk, to construct a permanent pavilion structure for the Dunkirk Farmers’ Market (Western New York);
- Downtown Committee of Syracuse, for the Downtown Syracuse Farmers’ Market (Central New York);
- Finger Lakes Community Action, for the Lyons Farmers’ Market Resiliency Program (Finger Lakes);
- Common Ground Farm, for the Newburgh Farmers’ Market (Mid-Hudson);
- Buffalo Place, Inc., for the Downtown Buffalo Country Market Data Collection Project (Western New York); and
- Harvest Home Farmers’ Markets, to increase outreach and marketing (New York City).
Governor Hochul announced in her 2023 State of the State Address that she would be re-funding the Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program as part of her commitment to creating a resilient food system that can withstand extreme events, while being accessible to all New Yorkers.
New York State has launched several groundbreaking initiatives in recent years to strengthen the food supply chain and improve access to healthy, locally grown foods across the State. The State’s Food Supply Working Group released a report in early 2022, outlining recommendations for how to improve the resiliency and self-reliance of the food system statewide. The State has additionally established a working group on Improving Urban and Rural Consumer Access to Locally Produced Healthy Foods to connect upstate and downstate New York on food procurement and distribution, which released a report in February.
Farmers’ markets, farm stands, and mobile markets are crucial components to a healthy food system. Today, New York has more than 400 farmers’ markets, 250 farm stands, and 10 mobile markets. They provide outlets for agricultural producers to meet the rising consumer demand for a variety of fresh, affordable, and convenient products grown directly from the farm. New York State—through the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Department of Health, Office for the Aging, and Office of Temporary Disability Assistance—administers several programs that help low-income families, seniors, and Veterans access fresh, healthy food at participating markets. For more information on the Department’s programs, such as the FreshConnect and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, visit https://agriculture.ny.gov/farmersmarkets.
–New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets