WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced two grants totaling $165,555 for the Green Mountain Farm Direct and the Northeast Organic Farming Association to expand access to locally-produced food for Vermont seniors, low-income families and others.
"These worthwhile projects will increase Vermonters' access to fresh, healthy, locally-produced foods," Sanders said.
Green Mountain Farm Direct in Newport, Vt., is slated to receive $97,029 to build a mobile farmers market that will deliver fresh foods to senior meal sites, low-income housing sites, and community centers throughout Essex and Orleans Counties. The mobile market - a big bus equipped with refrigeration and a prep kitchen - will travel to local farms to buy food and make deliveries to senior meal sites, low-income housing facilities, and community centers throughout the region.
The Northeast Organic Farming Association based in Richmond, Vt., will receive $68,526 to expand the use of debit cards and electronic benefit cards at Vermont farmers markets. The project already has helped 37 farmers markets throughout the state. The additional funding will expand the project to eight more markets. Roadside farm stands also could be added to the project.
Sanders' strong backing helped Vermont win the funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers Market Promotion program.