2023 National Farmers Market Week August 6-12
This year’s National Farmers Market Week gives the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, along with Real Maine, the chance to acknowledge the important role these markets play in bringing local food and products to consumers.
National Farmers Market Week, now in its 24th year, is August 6 to August 12. Maine has a statewide network of 92 summer and 25 winter farmers’ markets.
“To join the celebration and show your support for Maine’s farmers and producers, we encourage everyone to visit their local farmers’ market, said Jimmy DeBiasi, Executive Director of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets. “With markets open across the state every day of the week, there’s something for everyone. Find all your grocery staples and the freshest food your money can buy at Maine’s farmers’ markets.”
MFFM is highlighting its low-income food access program, Maine Harvest Bucks, during the national observance. Maine Harvest Bucks provides matching incentive dollars to shoppers when they use SNAP/EBT at the farmers’ market. In 2022, more than 10,000 Mainers received bonus fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets, thanks to Maine Harvest Bucks, which led to a total of $550,000 in sales from SNAP and MHB combined.
Since 2018, the Maine Harvest Bucks program has yielded more than $2 million in sales. Additionally, more than 20,000 pounds of fresh produce were donated by farmers’ market vendors to the local emergency food system in 2022 through at-market gleaning initiatives.
MFFM is also spotlighting its Bumper Crop program, in which businesses and organizations across the state give out gift certificates to their employees, customers, donors, and other stakeholders. This leads to new customers and more sales for farmers’ markets, and new experiences and discoveries for consumers.
Farmers’ markets support local economic development by providing a direct avenue for farmers and producers to sell their goods, contributing to the growth of Maine’s agricultural sector. An estimated $10 million a year is spent at Maine farmers’ markets. More than 300 small farms and food businesses rely on farmers’ markets to sell their products and grow their enterprises.
Real Maine is the state’s official agriculture and agritourism promotions program. Visit www.RealMaine.com to plan your Real Maine agricultural experience and connect to farms, food, and agriculture throughout Maine.