WASHINGTON, D.C. — A grant in the 2018 Farm Bill will provide more than $210,000 to expand five farmers markets in northwest Michigan.

The grant funding was announced in a release from U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan). Stabenow is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

The $210,060 grant to the Health Department of Northwest Michigan comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market Promotion Program in the 2018 Farm Bill Stabenow co-authored, according to the release.

The project is designed to “enhance the visibility of farmers markets through outreach to customers, training for market managers and strengthened digital tools to help consumers find nearby farmers markets.”

The project will also continue to promote the Double Up Food Bucks program to allow families and individuals who receive food assistance to purchase twice the amount of local produce.

“Using a multi-layered approach to facilitate growth of the market and to increase both visitors and sales will benefit not only the market and the farmers, but residents, visitors and the economy,” Health Department of Northwest Michigan Deputy Health Director Natalie Kasiborski said in the release.

“Farmers markets spur economic development in local communities, connect more families with Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables, and create new markets for local farmers,” Stabenow said in the release. “This is a win-win for families and local food producers, who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.”

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