The Food Assistance Partnership is lead by the Michigan Farmers Market Association and is aligned with MIFMA’s vision to ensure that all residents have access to healthy, locally grown food.
The partners that comprise MIFMA’s Food Assistance Partnership believe that everyone should have access to fresh, healthy, local food through farmers markets. Farmers markets are a great place to purchase fresh, healthy foods and to connect with local farmers and the community.
MIFMA’s Food Assistance Partnership provides networking opportunities, shares resources, and facilitates collaboration for individuals and organizations working to increase consumers’ access to healthy, locally-produced foods through farmers markets. Our focus is on those consumers who are eligible for food assistance including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Farmers Market Nutrition Program/WIC Project FRESH and Market FRESH (formerly Senior Project FRESH); and similar programs.
We strive to bring all five food groups to our community FEAST.
- Feed ourselves and those whom we serve with good foods for the body, good ideas for the mind and good will for the soul.
- Develop and provide tools and information that help farmers markets, managers, vendors and customers learn ways to enhance their local food systems.
- Encourage partnership participants to try out new ideas and to adapt ideas to suit local situations.
- Increase access of food assistance eligible consumers to expand their healthy food options.
- Increase ability of farmer vendors to include food assistance eligible consumers in their market.
- Increase ability of farmers markets to attract food assistance eligible customers.
- Increase access to and use of SNAP, Project FRESH, and other food assistance benefits at farmers markets.
- Share partnership resources (ideas, knowledge, membership) with all who wish to contribute and participate.
- Develop and provide information about health, nutrition, environmental, social, financial and economic benefits of increased local food consumption, using communication and instructional approaches targeted to food assistance eligible consumers and to decision makers who can effect change.
In 2007, the Michigan Farmers Market Association and the Michigan Food Policy Council began working together to increase the number of farmers markets using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) technology through the creation of an eight member coalition. Today, that coalition has grown into MIFMA’s Food Assistance Partnership which involves more than 50 groups and works to increase consumers’ access to healthy, locally-produced foods through farmers markets.