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Berkshire Farmers Markets Receive Grants
04:00PM / Thursday, June 02, 2022
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) has awarded $100,000 in grants to nine Berkshire area farmers markets to support SNAP matching programs. 
 
In Berkshire County North Adams Farmers Market, Pittsfield Farmers Market, West Stockbridge Farmers Market, Lee Farmers Market, Great Barrington Farmers Market and Sheffield Farmers Market received grants.
 
"When we started farming, it was important for us to be able to produce great food for more than just a narrow segment of our community," said Michael Gallagher of Square Roots Farm (Lanesborough). "The market match programs at our markets in Pittsfield and North Adams have been a big part of what has allowed us to do that, but it's a huge burden on the markets to raise those funds. The BAV program provides consistency and predictability for customers and vendors, while freeing up markets to spend their time and money on outreach and marketing to draw in new customers and vendors."
 
The grants were awarded through BAV's newest grant fund, the Market Match Fund.
 
The Fund is an economic development and food access initiative that provides funding to increase the impact of Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) benefits at area farmers markets. It provides funds for markets to offer a $1-for-$1 SNAP match up to $30, providing SNAP recipients a total of $60 to spend at every participating farmers market. With continuing community support, BAV hopes to increase the $30 limit in the future.
 
Bolstering SNAP matching programs allows business growth opportunities for farmers and food producers who sell direct to consumers at farmers markets. Additionally, market match programs increase low-income households' purchasing power at local markets, allowing all SNAP-eligible customers to extend their SNAP dollars while nourishing their families with local, nutrient-dense foods.
 
BAV was able to provide funding to every 2022 applicant, with grants ranging from $2,000 - $30,000. 
 
Market Match Fund grants awarded in 2022 were made possible with support from Greylock Federal Credit Union, The Feigenbaum Foundation, The Berkshire Bank Foundation, The Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation, The Donald C. McGraw Foundation, The Whitehead Foundation, Wild Oats Market, and a number of generous individuals. To learn how you or your business can support the Market Match Fund, visit the BAV website: www.berkshireagventures.org.
 
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