BFBLGLV Awarded USDA FMPP Grant
Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley (BFBLGLV) has been awarded $100,000 through the USDA Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) for the promotion of direct producer-to-consumer markets in the Lehigh Valley.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Friday that the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is awarding $13.3 million in FMPP grants to 164 marketing and promotion projects across the nation.
“Today, USDA is helping to create economic opportunities for producers, increase access to fresh, healthy food for consumers, and connect rural and urban communities across the country,”
Although Lehigh Valley residents are spending nearly $1.7 billion on food every year, the majority of these food dollars is leaving the region through the purchase of food imports. Households are spending, on average, less than $12 a year on products purchased directly from farmers.
This grant will be used to promote venues for purchasing locally grown foods in order to increase consumption of locally grown agricultural products:
- Farmers’ Markets
- CSAs / Farm Share programs
- Farm stands
- Farm markets
Grant funds will be used to update the search engine on this website to make it easier for people to find locally grown foods. We’ll also be creating a 2016 CSA and Farm Share Guide and an updated 2016 Farmers’ Market map.
In Spring 2016, we’ll be starting a Buy Local Challenge to encourage Lehigh Valley consumers to spend more of their food dollars supporting our local agricultural products.
And to top it off, we’re hosting a local foods festival at ArtsQuest on Sunday, July 24th, 2016, entitled Taste: A Celebration of Local Farms & Food. The event will include a farmers’ market, cooking demonstrations, games and contests, movies, music, and educational displays covering all aspects of our local food system:
- Farmland Preservation
- Promoting Our Local Food Economy
- Farmers & Farming Practices
- Distribution Infrastructure
- Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship
- Farm To School Programs
- Food Access
- Community Gardens & Urban Farms
- Healthy Cooking And Eating
- Food Recovery
This part of the event will be free to the public. There will also be a tasting room, for which a ticket will be required, where restaurants, caterers, food service companies, wineries, breweries, and value-added producers will provide menu items featuring locally grown and locally produced foods and beverages.
We’re making it easier for consumers to support our farmers and local economy while enjoying the benefits of fresh, healthy, locally grown foods!