In 2018, the State of Michigan invested $500,000 to expand healthy food access through farmers markets. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services used the funding to purchase and maintain the equipment that farmers and markets need to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as food stamps, through the Michigan Bridge Card. The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) has supported the state’s implementation of this funding by assisting with outreach, application support, and technical assistance for farmers and markets receiving this equipment.
It’s projected that the state’s original investment in this important program will be exhausted during the 2021 farmers market season. While the State has committed funding to cover the ongoing costs of operating the devices already in use, there is no funding designated to replace devices when they fail or become outdated (commonly every two to four years). There also aren’t any dollars designated to provide additional devices to markets or farmers still in need.
Please join MIFMA in advocating for the State of Michigan to make another investment to continue connecting families to healthy food through Michigan farmers markets. For more information, click here.