USDA to Kick-Off National Farmers Market Week
WASHINGTON, July 31, 2013 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture will announce Saturday, August 3 the number of markets registered in the 2013 National Farmers Market Directory, kicking off National Farmer’s Market Week (August 4-10, 2013). The opening ceremony at the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace (Marketplace) will celebrate farmers markets as a place for communities—rural and urban, farmer and consumer—to gather.
Located in the northwest region of Washington, D.C., the Marketplace enjoys a culturally and economically diverse population of visitors. All of the fresh fruit and vegetable vendors accept USDA’s Women, Infants and Children’s food program coupons, and all the food vendors accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (electronic benefits transfer certified).
The Farmers Market Directory, a voluntary online database at farmersmarkets.usda.gov, identifies new farmers markets, the states with the highest number of markets in operation, and the total number of farmers markets that have registered throughout the United States.
Farmers market managers voluntarily supply their market information providing a snap shot of the number of markets that have registered with the directory. Farmers markets have increased in number and popularity over the years and have evolved into a favorite social assembly point in many communities. With a maturing farmers market system, USDA is focusing its support on sustainability and encouraging market development in underserved areas.
The offerings and events at the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace brings together all facets of the surrounding community so residents and visitors can enjoy fresh produce and other goods from local farms and artisans. The Marketplace is one of USDA’s Farmers Market Promotion Programs’ grant recipients, receiving $65,200 in 2011 to improve outreach and access for low-income individuals and families in finding and purchasing fresh, nutritious food, thereby increasing direct producer-to-consumer sales and improving the overall economic vitality of the market.