Grant money to help farmers markets

Copper Country

HOUGHTON COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) — Portage Health Foundation granted out more than $3,500 to local farmers markets in a targeted mini grant to help them stay safe and open.

“We are committed to supporting local food access and proud of our area farmers markets for maintaining these critical food access points throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michelle Seguin, MD, DABFM, Director of Community Health at the foundation.

The grant proposals were submitted by market managers and checks have already been submitted to the markets.

The Downtown Houghton Farmers Market received $1,617.32 to improve communication and purchase personal protective equipment. That included new signage throughout the market, masks and hand sanitizer. The market is following best practices put out by the MSU Extension Office to support local farmers and help residents eat healthy. The market is open Tuesdays from 4 to 6 p.m

Following the state’s guidelines related to protecting vendors and visitors, the Main Street Calumet Farmers Market has been open since fresh vegetables have been available this year. The funding will help maintain high levels of safety for the remainder of the summer by helping the market purchase hand soap, paper towels, signage and more. This market fosters a sense of community, creates excitement in the downtown area and supports burgeoning entrepreneurs Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Lake Linden Farmers Market has been offering customers a safe experience all summer following Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) resources, and with a $1,000 grant they’ll be able to keep that going. The funding will help replenish supplies of masks, hand sanitizer and wipes, while also allowing the market to purchase a new floor stand for their hand sanitizer and additional signage. The market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Furthermore, printed materials have been provided to all markets in the four-county region of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. These materials include Keweenaw Grown Foods rack cards and recipe cards featuring “Farmers Market Finds.”

This mini grant is part of the Portage Health Foundation Food Initiative.

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