Finally!...Georgia Has It’s Own Farmers Market Association!
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 healthy communities and food. Further, GFMA will also work to improve awareness and visibility of farmer’s markets across the state of Georgia.
The 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 throughout Georgia.
Through market management education, GFMA will strengthen communities by providing a “Market Tool Kit” to increase effectiveness and sustainability of markets, as well as develop a support network of communication for market managers. Market managers will have the opportunity to become eligible for consideration for incentive programs like Wholesome Wave Georgia. GFMA will also sponsor events such as food demonstrations which 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 has been in the planning stages for a number of years. Spear-headed by Brennan Washington of Phoenix Gardens, the organizations strategic planning is being facilitated by Charitable Connections, Inc. GFMA 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.