Why Give to Mass Farmers Markets
As many readers know, this blogathon hopes to raise awareness of local produce and farmers markets throughout Massachusetts–AND TO RAISE FUNDS for the non-profit organization Mass Farmers Markets.
We asked Hannah of MFM to explain why this is a particularly important time to contribute. Here’s what she has to say:
This is a time of rapid growth and expansion in the farmers market world, which means that the support which Mass Farmers Markets provides to market organizers, vendors, and shoppers is more in demand than ever. As a non-profit organization, we rely extensively on charitable donations to keep our statewide network of farmers markets strong, reliable, and accessible.
Here are just some of the exciting activities your donation will support:
There are 224 farmers markets running across Massachusetts this summer, more than double the number there were 6 years ago. This means that the our staff has been busier than ever supporting the launch of new markets while maintaining high levels of support for existing markets. We are the number one source of information for communities seeking to start a market, consumers seeking to shop at markets, and local farmers and food producers looking for an outlet for their product.
Food stamp recipients are able to use their benefits at more farmers markets than ever this summer, thanks to funding from the Mass Departments of Agricultural Resources and Transitional Assistance as well as the Wholesome Wave and Harvard Pilgrim Foundations. This important advance in healthy food access requires a significant investment in technology and systems as well as high levels of inter-agency cooperation. The staff of Mass Farmers Markets has been working hard to ensure that the new systems run smoothly and that the maximum number of qualified consumers are able to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to eat better for less.
We have been deeply involved in securing funding for and implementing the “Veggie Prescription” program currently being trialed at several health centers across the state. The program has received national press coverage and praise. We are excited that more and more health care practitioners and families are seeing healthy food choices as an essential element of healthy living, and we look forward to expanding the program in the years to come.
Massachusetts was home to nearly 20 winter markets this past year! Plans are underway for many more winter markets in 2011, and we are already hard at work to support and promote them.
The staff and board of Mass Farmers Markets are working non-stop to strengthen the network of farmers markets in Massachusetts, because we believe that a healthy farmers market system is an essential part of a healthy society. We hope you will lend your support to our cause.
If you’d like to make a donation, please click here. Thanks!