Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Paul Tonko today announced $24,490 in federal funding for FarmieMarket Online, LLC in the Town of Berne in Albany County. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program. This funding was created to promote growth for small, independent producers, but allowing them to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income overall. Specifically, FarmieMarket Online will these funds to launch a program that will allow underprivileged consumers to order fresh food online using their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The SNAP program issues monthly electronic benefit transfers (EBT) that can be used like cash to purchase food at authorized retail food stores, but many customers cannot use EBT in many online food stores. This program will allow underprivileged people to order fresh food online using these benefits, which will then be delivered to their homes. Not only will this benefit SNAP recipients by allowing them to purchase fresh food online, but this program will also give federal dollars to smaller farmers that sell their goods through FarmieMarket Online.
“Ensuring that agriculture is able to flourish and the unique needs of New York agriculture are considered in federal programs has always been a top priority of mine, and FarmieMarket’s innovative approach of selling products from smaller farms online straight to consumers is significant in today’s information age,” said Senator Schumer. “These much-needed funds will help FarmieMarket Online in the Town of Berne further expand its production and increase sales by launching a program that will allow people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to purchase fresh food online from these smaller farmers that sell their goods through FarmieMarket. This direct USDA assistance will allow the company to serve more consumers and generate increased economic revenue, making it a win-win for our agriculture industry and the entire Albany area economy.”
“We need our farmers to thrive if we’re going to have a strong and growing economy in New York,” said Senator Gillibrand, first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years. “This is a great investment for FarmieMarket and will help ensure they get the needed resources to bring their products to market and continue to drive economic growth in their region and across the state.”
“As innovation and technological advancements bring family farms and their customers closer together, it is critical our local growers have the tools they need to meet the needs of an expanded market. I thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their work to support New York agriculture and its unique needs from region to region throughout the state. As the recently passed Farm Bill is implemented, I will continue to meet with our local agricultural leaders to ensure Capital Region farmers see success in our area and are able to provide locally grown products to consumers across New York and the country,” said Rep. Tonko.
“Thank you to Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Tonko, as well as the USDA for helping to support 95,000 SNAP and EBT eligible recipients in the Capital Region,” said Sarah Gordon, Founder of FarmieMarket Online, LLC.
The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is designed to help boost farms’ income and productivity by increasing access to capital, providing technical assistance and developing new marketing strategies for independent producers to increase exposure and broaden their customer base.