REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — In an effort to increase availability of fresh food to Ohioans, the Ohio Department of Agriculture has collaborated with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to provide the newly established Farmers’ Market Access Project.
This project will offer grants to farmers’ markets to process food assistance benefits via the Ohio Direction Card.
The grants will assist the farmers’ markets in costs associated with installing the infrastructure necessary to accept food assistance and providing outreach efforts.
Funds for the grant program were made available by congressional appropriation, with $20,000 available for 2009.
Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis and are subject to available funding.
Awarded grants will range from a minimum $500 to a maximum $1,000.
The ultimate goals of the project are to increase healthy food choices for all Ohioans and to promote the sale of Ohio foods, which will benefit Ohio farmers and the state economy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found for every $5 spent in food assistance benefits, $9.20 is generated in total community spending.
There are currently more than 240 farmers’ markets in the state that may be eligible to accept food assistance benefits using the Ohio Direction Card.
For a listing of Ohio’s farmers’ markets visit www.ohioproud.org.