Hoophouses for Health is a program designed to increase access to Good Food for vulnerable families while at the same time expanding the Good Food infrastructure and season extension capacity of Michigan farmers.
- According to the Michigan Good Food Charter, “Good Food” is food that is:
- Healthy: provides nourishment and enables people to thrive
- Green: produced in a manner that is environmentally sustainable
- Fair: no one along the supply chain was exploited for its creation
- Affordable: all people have access to it
How It Works
Step 1: Farmers apply to the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) to receive funding to build a new hoophouse.
Step 2: MIFMA works with community partner organizations, such as Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program agencies, to distribute and reload Market Cards to vulnerable families participating in their programming. The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (MSU CRFS) helps establish a Farm to School relationship between a qualifying school and a participating farmer if desired.
Step 3: Families use the Market Cards to buy produce from participating Hoophouses for Health farmers at local farmers markets, while farmers also provide free produce to schools.
Step 4: Farmers submit Farm to School delivery records to MIFMA to pay off their “loan.”
The Result: Families get access to fresh, healthy, Michigan foods, and farmers get a new hoophouse through a zero-interest, five year “loan” that they pay back in produce instead of cash.
In 2016, 53 farmers participated in Hoophouses for Health at 17 farmers markets across the state of Michigan.
Hoophouses for Health is a collaboration between the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA), the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (MSU CRFS) and the Michigan State University Department of Horticulture. Funding for Hoophouses for Health is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
To view more information about the program, hover over the Food Access tab at the top of the page. Then place your mouse over Hoophouses for Health, and links to each section will be displayed. You can also select the links below to visit the other pages.
For more information, please contact Rebekah Faivor, the Hoophouses for Health Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 432-3381.