September 16th, 2016

Maryland Market Money availability coming to an end for the 2016 season

by Shelley Brosius

(Photo taken by ECO City Farms at the Port Towns Farmers Mercado in Bladensburg, MD. Port Towns Farmers Mercado first offered Maryland Market Money this year.)

Maryland Market Money is a program of the Maryland Farmers Market Association (MDFMA) that provides matching funding to those utilizing federal nutrition benefits at farmers markets. This program ensures that federal dollars are kept in local communities, increases purchasing power for low-income Marylanders, and provides additional revenue to our farmers.

MDFMA has raised approximately $150,000 in matching funding this year, from a combination of private sources, collaborative fundraising with participating markets, and fundraising events such as the recent Feast for Farms and Families. Despite these efforts, demand from program participants this season has continued to increase, resulting in more need than ever for Maryland Market Money. As of early September, two Baltimore City markets – 32nd Street Farmers Market in Waverly and the Park Heights Community Farmers Market in the Park Heights neighborhood – discontinued distribution of Maryland Market Money due to particularly high usage.

Customer feedback illustrates that many food-insecure Marylanders have come to depend on Maryland Market Money as an integral part of their weekly food budgets. Likewise, many farmers at participating markets rely on the additional income from customers spending the Maryland Market Money they’ve received to support their farm businesses. MDFMA is currently focusing its fundraising efforts on the 2017 market season to meet demand as best as possible.  There are a number of ways that you can support the program and help MDFMA ensure that demand is met in 2017: donate now, join us for upcoming fundraising events (which can be found here), or shop at any of our participating markets and make a donation at the market information table.

Here is the current listing of farmers markets actively participating in the 2016 Maryland Market Money program; be sure to check MDFMA’s social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter (@MDFMAssociation) and Instagram for the latest developments on the program including which markets continue to accept MMM.

About the Author Shelley Brosius

Shelley joined MDFMA in late 2015 after having dabbled a bit in agroforestry, community gardening, urban farming, and farmers market saleswomanship both domestically and abroad. Her favorite Maryland farmers market finds are young ginger and baby arugula...which are coincidentally also her two favorite things to harvest!