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Maryland Farmers Market Association

Letter From the Board of Directors

April 13, 2020

Dear Stakeholder: 

After seven years of supporting Maryland’s vibrant farmers market community, it is with a heavy heart that the Maryland Farmers Market Association (MDFMA) announces it will be closing its doors on April 17, 2020. MDFMA has faced financial challenges the past year and, despite efforts to forge a path forward, the organization lacks sufficient funding to continue operations.  

Our accomplishments over the years include supporting the economic viability of market farmers and vendors; increasing access to quality, nutritious food for all; and improving customers’ farmers market experience. Below are specific examples of the work we have achieved together:

Supported farmers’ markets acceptance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from 15% to 45% now accepting SNAP.

• Expanded the Maryland Market Money from just two markets in its pilot year to 36 markets in 11 jurisdictions in 2019.
• Distributed over $900,000 in Maryland Market Money to food-insecure Marylanders.
• Assisted farmers in accessing $35,000 in interest-free KIVA loans to improve their farm businesses.
• Advocated significant policy changes in the Maryland Legislature, including the Maryland Farms and Families Act.
• Developed a statewide online directory of farmers markets.

None of these wonderful achievements would have been possible without the passion and hard work of the MDFMA staff, the Maryland farmers market community, and our generous financial supporters. Thank you for helping MDFMA support Maryland’s farmers, markets and communities. 

For any questions, or if you’re interested in supporting the MDFMA during this transition time, please contact us at [email protected] through April 17, 2020. Again, we want to sincerely thank all of the Maryland farmers, market managers, partner organizations, and communities we’ve had the honor of serving over the past seven years. We wish you all a safe and healthy future. 

Sincerely,

Laura Howard

MDFMA Board Chair

 

FAQs:

Q: Where can I find resources and technical assistance to support my market?

A: MDFMA guides and resources for farmers and market managers include:

• Information About Free EBT/SNAP Processing Equipment
Farmers Guide to Selling at Farmers Markets
Marketing Tools For Market Managers
Resources For Farmers During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Social Media Toolkit for Farmers & Agricultural Producers
Guide to Regulations

The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) has many helpful resources for market managers and  MDFMA recommends that market managers join the FMC Listserv, a great place for peer-to-peer technical support.

For Maryland-specific support, please reach out to Weida Stoecker at the Maryland Department of Agriculture ([email protected]).

Q: How long will the resources on the MDFMA website be available to the public?

A: MDFMA’s website will remain live as long as possible. We recommend that you download any guides and resources now. 

Q: What will happen to the Maryland Market Money program?

A. The Maryland Market Money program will cease operating immediately. If your market or organization is interested in taking on this program work, please email us at [email protected].

Q: What if I still have Maryland Market Money tokens?

A: If you are a market shopper, the tokens are no longer valid. If you are a market manager, you should no longer be distributing or accepting these tokens as payment. If you are a market manager where the market has the program currently active for 2020, please ask that your vendors turn in all their tokens to you immediately for reimbursement. Those token counts should then be submitted to MDFMA before April 17, 2020.