FARMERS IN GEORGIA HAVE REASON TO BE EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE

The organizing Board of Directors met for the first time this week atthe Atlanta Community Food Bank, where charter members of the Georgia Farmer’s Market Association came together to pen an agenda and create working groups to achieve the mission of the organization. 

The Georgia Farmer’s Market Association was created to address food access and education, as well as to create a framework to “magnify the relationship” between health and food.  Further, the GFMA will work to improve awareness and visibility of farmer’s markets to consumers and the communities that they serve.

The Georgia Farmer’s Market Association will provide a network for statewide communications, with a goal of supporting community-wide marketing and promotion efforts to strengthen communities, educate farmers on improving marketability and profitability,  as well as encouraging research to enhance food access and relieve “food deserts” throughoutGeorgia.

Through market management education, the GFMA will strengthen communities by providing a “Marketing Tool Kit” to increase effectiveness and sustainability of the markets, as well as developing a support network of communication for the market managers. By engaging public health graduate students from Emory University, the market managers will have opportunity to establish the Wholesome Wave Georgia program, create events and open the door for consumers to connect with their locally-grown food source providers.

Wholesome Wave Georgia is a local 501(c)3 organization that doubles the value of SNAP, aka Food Stamp, dollars at nearly 40 farmer’s markets across the state. Through the program, $50 turns into $100 of fresh, healthy, locally grown food for SNAP recipients and $100 in income for farmers. Wholesome Wave Georgia’s doubling program is one example of a resource that will be promoted by the Georgia Farmer’s Market Association.

In alignment with the mission of creating a framework to magnify the relationship between health and food, GFMA is a lead sponsor of the upcoming Food=Medicine Conference Nov. 13-15 in Atlanta presented by the Alliance to Repair the American Diet. The largest gathering of its kind in the Southeast, the conference will bring together nationally recognized leaders from the whole-food, plant-based movement including physicians, clinical researchers, celebrity chefs and athletes, many of which were featured on the well-known foodie documentary, “Forks Over Knives.”

The Georgia Farmer’s Market Association is applying for non-profit status as a 501c-3 organization. It has been in the planning stages for a number of years, spear-headed by Brennan Washington, has received its initial funding from Charitable Connections, Inc. ,  and will be led by Executive Director Sagdrina Jalal. The board consists of 18 representatives of the farming community from throughout the state.   The board met with the leadership of Charitable Connections, Inc. facilitating the strategic planning session. The next meeting of the board will be in Macon, Georgia in December.

For further information or to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact Sagdrina Jalal, 404-271-0071, sagdrina@mygeorgiamarket.org, or visit www.mygeorgiamarket.org.

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