The Frenchtown Farmers Market has been approved for a $245,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture as a part of the Farmers Market Promotion Program. This program is meant to increase the accessibility and availability of produce that is sourced locally and regionally.
The grant will fund opportunities that include providing outreach, technical assistance to domestic farmers, agritourism activities and marketing opportunities. A 25% match is required. In 2018, this program was able to fund 15% of its applicants, and in 2019 the minimum award per grant was $50,000.
First, the Frenchtown Neighborhood Improvement Association has decided to put together a resource directory of local farmers in the area, what they grow, as well as where and when they grow it. They have also decided to add services to the kitchen they built with a previous grant to be able to be comparable to grocery stores. There are also plans of expansion into Gadsden County and Jefferson County.
As a result of the expansion, a 20% increase in local food sales is expected as well as thousands of new customers. This is also expected to create more job opportunities in the area.