REGION – Rural Vermont, in collaboration with the High Meadows Fund, NOFA-VT, and the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, is pleased to launch a rapid response “mini grant” fund to support farmers’ markets in need of financial assistance to transition to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Farmers are essential. Farmers’ markets are vital market outlets for community farmers and crucial food access points for consumers, including recipients of SNAP benefits. Current executive orders from Gov. Scott allow for modified farmers’ markets to operate if following strict health protocols, but markets must transition nimbly in order to comply with the new safety rules. Farmers’ markets have seen a decline in vendor fees, an increase in equipment, supply, and personnel needs, and financial support is needed to ensure that markets can remain open and safe for farmers and customers.
Market managers or other representatives are encouraged to apply for funds to support the purchase of supplies such as hand washing stations, masks, gloves, sanitizer, signs, caution tape, stakes, additional staff, and other needs to support safe shopping and the health of all. Grants are capped at $500 per market and available on a first come, first serve basis. All are encouraged to apply, though priority may be given to smaller markets and markets in underserved areas. A brief application for Market Mini Grants is available at www.ruralvermont.org.
Rural Vermont is a nonprofit organization representing Vermont’s community of family farmers, neighbors, and citizens committed to supporting a vital and healthy rural economy and community. Our mission is to lead the resurgence of community-scale agriculture through education, advocacy, and organizing in support of Vermonters living in deep connection to one another and to the land that nourishes us all.