National Farmers Market Association
The National Farmers Market Association (NFMA) is a nationwide, nonprofit organization created to promote access to fresh food for people across all economic and social barriers, and to educate individuals, communities, food producers and creative artisans about the impact that available and affordable fresh food can have on health and quality of life.
While the NFMA promotes health and quality of life around farmers markets, it does not seek to compete with grocery stores or supermarkets. The organization recognizes the inherent value in the farmers market as a resource for making connections within a community, especially in areas of the country where grocery stores and supermarkets are not present.
The NFMA operates within a local area by recruiting volunteers that reach out to educate community members, connect people to farmers markets, and help food desert communities learn how to get Farmers Markets into their areas. Food deserts are areas where fresh, quality food is too far to reach or not affordable.
The National Farmers Market Association was conceived as a program by a former Meals On Wheels executive director who saw in the communities his organization served a general lack of knowledge about nutrition and the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. The group he created that began the NFMA also saw how farmers’ markets became a center for people not just to shop, but to connect with each other, for public service organizations to conduct outreach, for artists and musicians to express their talent and be seen.
Community benefits of the NFMA
The National Farmer's Market Association (NFMA) benefits a community in several ways, including education and economy. An NFMA chapter works to assist local farmers in bringing their products directly to the consumers. The establishment of an NFMA chapter within the local neighborhood centers buying power and education around the local area, creating a bond between local farmers and their communities. Also, in a purchase from an NFMA farmers market, the money stays in a local area, rather than going to growers around the world.
- Halweil, Brian, and Thomas Prugh. Home Grown: The Case for Local Food in a Global Market. *Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, 2002. Print
- Sommer, Robert. Farmers Markets of America. Santa Barbara: Capra, 1980. Print.
- Chiras, Dan: Superbia! 31 Ways to Create Sustainable Neighborhoods, 2003. Paperback
- Robinson, Jennifer: The Farmers' Market Book: Growing Food, Cultivating Community, 2007.
- McClure, Nikki. To Market, to Market, 2011. Print