ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced on November 4 that $700,000 is available to NY’s farmers’ markets through the Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program. Funding for the program was included in this year’s enacted budget and is a part of Governor Hochul’s State of the State commitment to New York’s agricultural industry and increasing the resiliency of the state’s food supply chain following COVID-19.

Commissioner Ball states, “The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that it is imperative to have a strong, flexible, streamlined food supply chain right here in New York State. The Farmers’ Market Resiliency Grant Program is one more facet of Governor Hochul’s plan to support that supply chain, providing farmers’ markets with funding needed to offer online sales and invest in infrastructure and promotion, and ultimately reach more consumers and get more local New York foods onto tables across the state.”

The Grant funding will help farmers strengthen their markets and make local food more accessible to consumers by establishing online sales, improving infrastructure, and enhancing marketing and promotion efforts. Funding will be available to help markets build out infrastructure and electronic infrastructure for online sales capabilities. Projects can also include marketing and promotion initiatives for markets across the state, expanding their reach to even more consumers.

Diane Eggert, Executive Director of the Farmers’ Market Federation of New York comments, “The pandemic created significant hardships for farmers’ markets to ensure they could continue to connect farmers with local customers. The COVID-19 guidelines were costly to maintain, in both dollars and in human capital, but markets knew it was critical to maintain the marketplace to keep farmers whole and customers connected to local food. This grant opportunity will go a long way to assist markets in recovering from the costs of the pandemic and maintaining vibrant marketplaces with new, innovative ways to build relationships between farmers and consumers.”

For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the New York State website. The deadline for proposals is 4 p.m. Wednesday, December 14.