Farmers markets across Michigan will be celebrating National Farmers Market Week Aug. 1-7.
The 2021 National Farmers Market Week will focus on the role farmers markets play in local food systems and in developing local hubs for the community to connect and have access to local food. Many farmers markets will be hosting events and activities, among other things to celebrate farmers and vendors and show appreciation to volunteers and shoppers.
“Farmers markets are a critical component of Michigan’s agricultural economy,” said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell. “Demand for Michigan’s food and agricultural products has never been greater, and markets provide an opportunity for consumers to connect directly with those products, while supporting our state’s small businesses. The economic and community impacts are worth celebrating.”
In 2020, 152 markets accepted SNAP Bridge Cards including 25 new sites, generating more than $1 million in farm revenue and creating access to fruits and vegetables for Michigan families.
“From the Marquette Commons to Eastern Market, farmers markets across the state are bringing our communities together, building local economies, and putting food on the table for Michigan families,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow. “During this pandemic, Michigan farmers markets adapted quickly to remain safe and open, and more markets offered Double Up Bucks so families in need could buy more healthy fruits and vegetables. As Chairwoman of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, I’ll continue leading efforts to make sure our farmers markets have the resources they need to succeed.”
Last year and into 2021 market season, more than 250 market managers, volunteers, vendors and others participated in COVID-19 town hall webinars hosted by the Michigan Farmers Market Association. The town halls were a way for MIFA staff to help markets respond to the pandemic and keep shoppers and vendors safe. More than 550 hours of COVID response staff time was invested.
“2020 was not an easy year, but we know farmers, market managers and MIFMA staff and board members are no strangers to hard work and overcoming challenges,” said Amanda Shreve, executive director of MIFMA, said. “As we celebrate 2021’s National Farmers Market Week, we’ve already seen the strength, resiliency and hope we share as a farmers market community and know our markets will continue to positively impact their communities long beyond this week.”