NEW YORK (WWTI) – Funding is being made available to New York farmers through the Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program to help strengthen their markets and make local food more accessible to consumers, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced in a press release.

The $700,00 in funding will help farmers establish online sales, improve infrastructure and enhance marketing and promotion. Funding for the program was included in this year’s enacted budget.

“The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that it is imperative to have a strong, flexible, streamlined food supply chain right here in New York State,” Commissioner Ball said. “The Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program is one more facet of Governor Hochul’s plan to support that supply chain, providing farmers’ markets with funding needed to offer online sales and invest in infrastructure and promotion, and ultimately reach more consumers and get more local New York foods onto tables across the state.”

Funding through the program will be available for projects that help markets build infrastructure, including booths and signage, as well as electronic infrastructure like internet platform development for online sales. Projects can also include marketing and promotion initiatives across the state to expand their reach to more consumers.

Eligible applicants include:

  • non-profit organizations;
  • local municipalities;
  • business improvement districts;
  • local chambers of commerce; and
  • public benefit corporations that currently operate one or more farmers’ markets in New York State.

The deadline for proposals is Wednesday, December 14 at 4 p.m. Applications for funding must be submitted through Grants Gateway’s website and conform to the format provided in the Grants Gateway: Vendor User Guide.

“The pandemic created significant hardships for farmers’ markets to ensure they could continue to connect farmers with local customers. The COVID-19 guidelines were costly to maintain, in both dollars and in human capital, but markets knew it was critical to maintain the marketplace to keep farmers whole and customers connected to local food,” said Diane Eggert, Executive Director of the Farmers’ Market Federation of New York. “This grant opportunity will go a long way to assist markets in recovering from the costs of the pandemic and maintaining vibrant marketplaces with new, innovative ways to build relationships between farmers and consumers.”

New York has more than 400 farmers’ markets, 250 farm stands and 10 mobile markets, all of which are important to the state’s healthy food system.

More information on the program and how to apply is available on the New York State Contract Reporter website.