Vermont Business Magazine The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA Vermont) has been awarded a three-year $247,000 grant from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). With this funding from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Farmers Market Support Grants, NOFA-VT will work to increase SNAP accessibility and participation at Vermont’s farmers markets, and to support the establishment, expansion, and promotion of SNAP services, known in Vermont as 3SquaresVT, at farmers markets.“This grant will expand NOFA-VT’s capacity to support limited-income Vermonters to access organic and local foods at farmers markets while strengthening the economic viability of Vermont’s farms,” said NOFA-VT’s Erin Buckwalter, manager of programs to support direct markets and increase community food access at the organization.NOFA-VT has worked for nine years with farmers markets to establish and support programs to accept 3SquaresVT benefits, supporting the use of EBT cards in order to increase access to local foods for recipients of 3SquaresVT benefits. From just three markets in 2008, NOFA-VT currently supports 46 farmers market locations statewide that accept 3SquaresVT benefits. This new funding from the USDA will allow NOFA-VT to continue to provide support to farmers markets in Vermont that want to expand food access in their communities by accepting EBT cards.In addition to supporting markets with much-needed funds, NOFA-VT will conduct a sustained consumer awareness campaign to increase 3SquaresVT participation at Vermont farmers markets. Research has found that key reasons why low-income shoppers do not use farmers markets are because they are unaware of the day, time and location of the markets. To overcome this barrier, this project will use a wide variety of approaches—from direct mailings, face-to-face interactions in market communities, and engagement with service providers—to raise awareness of the accessibility of EBT at Vermont markets and ultimately engage low-income shoppers in frequent participation at farmers markets. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Farmers Market Support Grants, which is awarding $8.1 million in grants for projects in 23 states to enhance the effectiveness of SNAP operations at farmers markets. The new funds support broad SNAP-related activities and costs, including staff training and technical assistance, creating educational materials, and raising awareness among current SNAP participants that their benefits may be used to purchase the healthy, fresh foods at these outlets. Farmers market organizations and associations, non-profit entities, state, local and tribal nations and other organizations engaged in farmers market management were eligible to apply. Grantees will be able to help connect low-income families with fresh, healthy, local food options by expanding SNAP use at these markets. About Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont: NOFA Vermont is a non-profit organization working to grow local farms, healthy food, and strong communities in Vermont. Our members are farmers, gardeners, educators and food lovers of all sorts – anyone who wants to help us create a future full of local food and local farms. Our programs include farmer and gardener technical assistance, farm to school support, organic certification, advocacy, an online apprentice and farm worker directory, an annual Winter Conference, and programs that work to ensure access to fresh, local food to all Vermonters, regardless of income.
Related The Triathlonguard Long Course Weekend is on Channel 4 this Sunday 25 September at 05:45 and on Channel +1 at 06:45.The Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park in South West Wales hosts this swim, bike, run event which is made up of three races in three days – the Wales Swim, the Wales Sportive and the Wales Marathon. With each discipline taking place as a separate stage, by the time competitors finish the marathon in the historic coastal resort of Tenby they will have completed an iron-distance triathlon.Presented by Aly Vance the Channel 4 show will highlight the thousands taking part, the strong crowd support and plenty of individual competition in each stage, as well as the ultimate prize of being fastest across all three events.Produced by Dream Team Television, a number of events are also coming up on Channel 4, and will be airing via the TV station in the next couple of months:IRONMAN Wales – 1 OctoberEuropean City of Sport Triathlon, Stoke on Trent – 8 OctoberPlusnet Yorkshire Marathon – 15 OctoberManchester Half Marathon – 29 OctoberSnowdonia Triathlon Festival – 19 NovemberSandman Triathlon – 26 NovemberHaving established a close partnership with Channel 4 television, Dream Team Television is one of the UK’s leading production companies specialising in multisport, adventure, athletics and motorsport programming. The company has an international reputation for producing some of the highest quality programmes in these specialist areas.www.dreamteamtv.co.ukwww.channel4.comwww.longcourseweekend.com