Low income, food insecure and urban neighborhoods struggle to gain access to organic and locally grown foods on a daily basis, while over all health in these areas seems to be dropping. Steps can now start being made as Grant Management Specialist Earlene Henderson-Samuels of the USDA announced that a $200,000 grant has been issued to Rodale Institute to fund the Farmers Market Promotion Program.
The Farmers Market Promotions Program (FMPP) is a community effort to build on local food source economy by developing a market to purchase fresh locally grown and organic produce in urban areas with low income and a high population density.
With Allentown being Pennsylvania’s third largest city with 100,000 people and the surrounding agricultural area being one of the most productive in the country this project will be able to supply fresh fruits and vegetables to these communities that have been lacking these resources. SNAP benefits will be accepted at these future locations thus pushing more availability to low-income communities. Rodale Institute will be working in partnership with Sacred Heart Hospital Allentown, The Allentown YMCA, and Berks County Intermediate Unit Education to benefit these local communities.
While the FMPP primarily focuses on the access to fresh and locally grown/organic produce in low-income areas, it also provides an opportunity to boost revenue to the surrounding farms providing locally grown resources. Mobile Farm Stands will be arriving at the three locations listed in your local community during September of 2020.