Aurora Farmers Market gets federal grants to boost access to fresh, local food
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded grants totaling $99,965 to the City of Aurora Farmers Market to increase access to fresh and healthy foods -- including produce, dairy, meats and breads -- to low-income families, as well as boost the local agriculture economy.
The Aurora Farmers Market will use the funds to increase its online presence and pay for the production of videos that explain how to use Illinois LINK cards to access SNAP benefits while shopping at the market.
The 2015 Farmers Market Promotion Program grant was a part of a $34.3 million system of grants awarded to both local and regional food providers nationwide in an overall effort to increase the consumption of locally produced food. The mission of the grant program is to get local food on the tables of low-income shoppers, which in turn helps small-scale farmers and improves the health of all Americans.
At the national level, the grants will beef up marketing efforts for farmers markets and other food systems, and provide training and research to improve local food marketing, transportation and distribution in a general sense.
"Visiting Aurora's Farmers Market is the best you can get when it comes to shopping local," Dale Hazlewood, the market’s manager, said. "When you shop our markets, you're not just supporting local family-owned businesses, you're feeding your own family great quality foods. That's a message we hope to spread as much as possible, thanks to this USDA grant."
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44 E Downer Pl
Aurora, IL 60505