Wednesday May 8, 2019

Farmers Markets Receive $20K from Shineman Foundation

Grant will support efforts to enhance markets, increase visibility in the community

    The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce has been awarded $20,000 from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation.


    The grant will support the Oswego-Fulton Farmers’ Markets capacity building project, which includes a new marketing campaign and equipment upgrades designed to attract attendees and grow the markets’ entertainment, educational programs and vendor offerings.


    The Richard S. Shineman Foundation works to improve the quality of life in Oswego County by providing grants to nonprofit organizations that will enhance the local community. It has invested in the farmers markets because it believes that vibrant weekly markets in both Fulton and Oswego will enhance those communities and the surrounding areas.


    “Our foundation is very impressed by the collaboration taking place in our community to come up with plans to reinvigorate and expand the Fulton and Oswego Farmers’ Markets,” said Karen Goetz, executive director of the Shineman Foundation. “The more collaborative the effort, the more successful the markets will be.”


    Over the past year, the GOFCC has worked to enhance the markets’ operations, engaging farmers, vendors, civic partners, and community members in order to develop a strategic plan.


    Through this grant, it will deploy the strategies it’s developed. As part of this effort, the Oswego-Fulton Farmers Markets capacity building project will also improve service to low-income residents registered in every available Federal Nutrition Assistance Program, including SNAP, EBT, and FNMP.


    “We have worked hard to enhance the Oswego-Fulton Farmers Markets’ experience for shoppers by bringing in new vendors and making the markets more accessible,” said Katie Toomey, executive director of the GOFCC. “The beauty of the farmers markets lies in their ability to foster personal connections between residents and provide mutual benefit to the farmers, shoppers and community at large.


    “Boosting the visibility of the Fulton Market, specifically, will once again establish it as a community fixture where residents can come together to access nutritional foods and build community.”


    GOFCC will operate the elements of the capacity building project through November to coincide with the markets’ season.