Release No. 0521.10
Jean Daniel (703) 305-2281
USDA Announces New Funding for Crossroads Farmers Market in Takoma Park, Maryland
TAKOMA PARK, Md., Oct., 13, 2010 - Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon announced today that Crossroads Farmers Market will receive a $50,724 grant from USDA's 2010 Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). The grant will be used to support the market's existing electronic benefits transfer (EBT) system that makes it possible for low-income recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, access locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
"Farmers markets that participate in SNAP offer a win-win solution for everyone - SNAP recipients who have another choice of where to use their benefits, and the participating farmers who will expand their customer base," said Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.
While at Crossroads, Concannon had an opportunity to observe SNAP and WIC participants obtaining fresh produce at the market. Over the past five years, the number of farmers' markets has increased by 250 percent, with nearly 1,600 direct-marketing farmers and farmers' markets authorized to redeem SNAP benefits. Crossroads staff and representatives of the Wholesome Wave Foundation discussed the market's new SNAP outreach efforts and "Fresh Checks" program with the Under Secretary.
"Farmers' Market Incentive Projects, like the one operating here provide matching bonus dollars that improve the purchasing power of low-income families so that they can afford to buy more fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods," said Concannon.
This week USDA and Administration officials are also participating in National School Lunch Week events elsewhere around the country, emphasizing Obama Administration priorities aimed at improving school meals, and combating childhood obesity.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, SNAP, and Farmers Market programs that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work together to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit
for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.
FMPP was created through an amendment of the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976 to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities. Since its inception, FMPP has awarded nearly $14.5 million to increase direct marketing income and consumer access to local farm products.