North Carolina Joins Farmers Markets Across the Country in Celebrating National Farmers Market Week 2023
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Alleghany farmers market. Photo from Jill Cockerham.
North Carolina joins markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 6-12, 2023. Use the VisitNC Farms app or visit your local Extension office to find a farmers market near you!
This year we celebrate the nearly 200 farmers markets across North Carolina. Research from NC State University captured impacts of farmers markets across the state during 2022. Farmers markets serve as vibrant public spaces where neighbors learn, grow, and work together. In 2022, there were over six million customers at farmers markets in North Carolina. Farmers markets also serve as community economic engines. Customers spent over $100,000,000 buying products from vendors, money that stayed in our state. Farmers markets work to create a more fair and sustainable food system. Markets that accept SNAP payments distributed an average of $16,400 at their markets over the year. Over 4,000 pounds of produce and $5,000 were gathered at market Donation Stations. Farmers markets also provide business and leadership opportunities to women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other historically underserved groups. These successes would not be possible without the efforts of market managers and support and investment from local communities.
National Farmers Market Week is an annual celebration of farmers markets proclaimed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and coordinated by the Farmers Market Coalition, a membership-based nonprofit organization that supports farmers markets nationwide through training, technical assistance, and network-building. This year, the campaign is centered around the essential role that farmers market operators play, both in our local food systems and in our communities. For more than fifty years, farmers markets have influenced the way Americans eat, shop, and connect to their food, their farmers, and one another. Farmers markets are more than market places, they are places where neighbors learn, grow, and work together.
“Farmers markets are changing the way we eat, shop, connect, and more,” said Ben Feldman, Policy Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “Across the country, farmers markets are defining their role in our communities. Markets are designed in partnership with the people they serve and are a place where market operators, farmers, shoppers, and neighbors can collaborate to meet the evolving needs of their community. Throughout National Farmers Market Week 2023, we will be highlighting the ways farmers markets are making change in communities nationwide. Join us!”