Tag Archives: inner city farmers markets

Calling all farmers, people who don’t want inner-city farmers markets gentrified, folks who want to bring fresh local foods to city schools/low-income families!

It’s the POLLINATE CONFERENCE January 13  at Worcester State University!

Time is running out …

Registration closes on January 7th!

Reserve your spot today.

Join more 300 other enthusiastic farm to cafeteria advocates from the preschool, K-12, and college sectors for a full day of workshops, networking, cooking demonstrations, and fun. We will have over 20 different workshops including:

Farm to School Policy and Advocacy

Farm to School Curriculum Connections

Waste Reduction, Composting Organics, and School Gardens
Funding Farm to School Programs
On Campus Farming
Farm to Preschool 101
Farm Based Education Initiatives – Urban and Rural Farm Field Trips
Sea to School: Incorporating Local Seafood in School Meals

The conference will also include Farm to Cafeteria Regional Networking Sessions so that you can connect with others in your community who are involved in farm to cafeteria activities.

Learn from their best practices, share your own tips, and move forward together!

We will be holding a concurrent Buyer Tradeshow and Networking Session for Farmers and Distributors. This will be a great opportunity to make direct connections with farmers from your region and discuss local sourcing with distributors.

Registration

Registration closes on January 7th and is filling up quickly as we have a limit of 350 attendees. Discounts are available for students and conference presenters. Please contact us for more information.

Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

Opportunities still exist for conference sponsorship. This conference is made possible by generous support from businesses and organizations that share the values of the farm to cafeteria movement. We expect the conference to attract over 300 individuals from a variety of fields including school and college dining services, farmers, non-profit organization staff, state agency representatives, legislators, school educators and administrators.

We have a number of different conference sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact us.

For more information and to register, CLICK HERE!

Farmers markets in our inner-city that don’t take SNAP or WIC cards, don’t let poor seniors use their farmers market coupons to buy bread ….

… yet they receive non-profit sponsorship $$$  from Harvard Pilgrim health. WTF?!

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LEARN how to counter CLASSISM at FARMERS MARKETS when REC makes a presentation at …

… the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass) 28th Annual Winter Conference, Saturday, January 10.

At Worcester State University, Chandler Street.

Featuring 70 workshops, exhibits, an all-day seminar and keynote by Greg Judy, rotational grazier and carbon sequestration advocate.

The conference draws about 1,000 participants from Massachusetts and neighboring states, including seasoned and beginning farmers, urban homesteaders, backyard gardeners, food activists, and others.

2015 workshop topics include crop production, farm management, health, homesteading, livestock, beekeeping, policy, skill building, infrastructure, soil, urban/backyard gardening and organic land care.

The conference will be followed by a post-conference dinner with Greg Judy.

GENTRIFICATION IN THE FOOD SYSTEM: 

Members of [Worcester REC’s] YouthGROW will be presenting a workshop entitled Gentrification in the Food System.

The workshop will focus on:

the rapid growth of the food justice movement and “foodie” culture that has often excluded communities of color, youth and the poor

.. and the many ways we can work to reverse this trend.

Ralph Weah, Assistant Farm Manager, and Chad McClain, Assistant Youth Coordinator will share stories and strategies for dismantling racism and creating inclusive spaces.

We’d love to see you at our workshop:

1:30 p.m – 3 p.m. – Saturday, January 10, at Worcester State University! 

 For more information, please visit nofamass.org/winterconference

All Farmers Markets should accept SNAP cards! Here’s how!

Amazing! In Worcester we have an inner-city farmers market that does NOT accept SNAP cards! A slap in the face to this neighborhood’s residents? A creepily phony way to keep poor people from over running this “COMMUNITY” farmers market? Why would Harvard Pilgrim Health give money to this farmers market – a farmers market that sells $6 loaves of bread in the middle of an inner-city neighborhood filled with poor people? And will NOT accept their SNAP cards??

– R. Tirella

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This is how SNAP can be accepted at this farmers market:

We are putting together a state-wide application for a federal grant that would provide SNAP incentives at farmers markets, mobile markets, CSAs, and at farm stands.

They have put together a concept paper and are having 4 informational meetings around the state.

The Worcester one is this coming Friday the 14,  10 a.m -2 p.m. at CMRPC’s offices at Union Station.  

This is a great opportunity to help increase access to fresh local food across the state!

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Some background:

The USDA has released a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program.

It is intended to bring together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system to ultimately improve the nutrition and health status of SNAP households.

Under FINI, applicants may propose relatively small pilot projects (Tier 1), multi-year community-based projects (Tier 2), or larger-scale multi-year projects (Tier 3).

Funded projects will test community based strategies that could contribute to the understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants through incentives at the point of purchase, supported by effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies, that would inform future efforts.

FINI is a joint effort between the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, which oversees SNAP.

After many discussions and based upon the numerous enquiries and interest in FINI received to date, we are proposing a state-led inter-departmental (Dept. of Transitional Assistance (DTA), Dept. of Agricultural Resources (DAR), and Dept. of Public Health (DPH) grant application (Tier 3) with a broad base coalition of statewide partners.

Given the grant parameters, the focus will be on incentivizing fruit and vegetable purchases at the point of sale at farmers’ markets, farm stands, CSAs, mobile markets, and the Boston Pubic Market—building off of the systems functionality developed for the Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP), conducted in Hampden County.

This pilot provided direct incentives to SNAP clients at the point of sale when purchasing fruits and vegetables using their EBT card. Based on HIP evaluation results and current matching programs, we are proposing a 100% incentive (dollar for dollar match) be provided for each SNAP dollar spent on target fruits and vegetables purchased, with a maximum incentive earned per household each month, subject to a $40 dollar cap.

The incentive would be calculated and instantly applied to the customer’s SNAP benefit account.

The incentive earned could be spent on any future SNAP purchase.

A concept paper has been developed and we are scheduling four statewide meetings in an effort to garner feedback, technical input, and support from our various community partners.

Given the broad interest in supporting financial incentives (e.g., matching programs at farmers’ markets) FINI may provide an opportunity to expand current support of these programs across each of these points of sale.

Information sessions will be scheduled in the following locations:

1.       East Wareham, UMass Cranberry Station Conference Room: Wednesday, November 12th, 10:00 – Noon

2.       Somerville, Location TBC: Wednesday, November 12th, 2:30 – 4:30

3.       Holyoke, MGHPCC Conference: Thursday, November 13th, 1:00 – 3:00

4.       Worcester, Union Station, CMPRC, 2nd Conference Room: Friday, November 14, 10 am– Noon

We welcome your participation and look forward to discussing this grant opportunity further.

We will continue to keep you updated on progress on the grant submission.

Frank Martinez Nocito

Assistant Director, SNAP Nutrition Education

MA Department of Transitional Assistance

310 State Street, Springfield, MA

Phone: 413.858.1380

Mobile: 617.308.5826

Fax: 413.858.1375

Email: Frank.MartinezNocito@state.ma.us