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USDA Grant Awarded to Community Health Works to Promote the Expansion of the Mulberry Street Market

USDA Grant Awarded to Community Health Works to Promote the Expansion of the Mulberry Street Market

(Macon, Ga.) Health Care Central Georgia, Inc. d/b/a Community Health Works (CHW) was awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) a Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grant in the amount of $87,165 to promote the expansion of the Mulberry Street Market through an extensive marketing and educational campaign.

CHW is committed to supporting the Mulberry Street Market and sustainable, local agriculture as a way of improving the health of Central Georgia by making higher quality, healthy, locally produced food available to all residents regardless of socio-economic factors.

With this funding, CHW will conduct a two-year multifaceted market promotion program designed to promote the expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities of the existing Mulberry Street Market. The program will achieve three main goals: 1) Promote the market through a marketing and educational campaign, 2) Facilitate increased access to the market, in particular by low-income individuals and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients, and 3) Improve operational efficiency and capacity of the market and its producers. This funding will support a fulltime employee who will be dedicated to market development, promotion, and farmer support.

Among CHW's plans to expand the market's capacity is the creation of an online market. The online market will provide a platform for local farmers to make their seasonal produce, dairy, meat and bread available for purchase by those unable to attend the weekly market in downtown Macon. Once ordered online, orders will be transported to a drop off location near the customer for convenient pickup.

The Farmers Market Promotion Program grant is administered by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Over $9 million in grants were awarded to organizations across 39 states to strengthen the relationship between agricultural producers and their consumers while increasing access to healthy food and improving local economies. The full list of awards granted for fiscal year 2012 is available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/FMPP.

The Mulberry Street Market is a free, producers-only outdoor community market that takes place weekly in front of the Grand Opera House from 4-7p.m. The Community Health Works tent accepts credit, debit and EBT cards for market purchases.

Community Health Works is a non-profit, community-based health organization that serves all of Central Georgia. For more information, please contact Chief Executive Officer Fred Ammons at 478-254-5210 or [email protected] Learn more about Community Health Works at www.chwg.org.