Tuesday, September 23, 2008


1. From this press release...

The number of farmers markets in the United States continues to grow, reports USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), reaching a total of 4,685 in August 2008. This represents a 6.8 percent increase since mid-August 2006, when AMS reported 4,385 farmers markets nationwide.

"More and more consumers are discovering the wide array of fresh, locally grown produce available at farmers markets," said AMS Administrator Lloyd Day. "Another reason for their popularity is food buyers like the opportunity to interact with their producers." day pointed out since 1994, when AMS began to track farmers markets, the number of farmers markets nationwide has grown by nearly 3,000.

Keep up the good work, people! Get out there and interact with your growers! :)

2. It's Hunger Action Month - from the Illinois Food Bank Association website:

Throughout the month of September, IFBA will join Feeding America to mark the first-ever Hunger Action Month by hosting a series of events aimed at eradicating hunger in Illinois. Hunger Action Month is part of a nationwide effort to motivate local action to end hunger.

Illinois has experienced an unprecedented rise in the number of working families who are turning to food banks and pantries to make ends meet. As more and more families struggle to pay for surging costs of energy and other essentials, money left over at the end of the week for food is scarce.
Hunger Action Month will enable elected officials, community leaders and all other Illinois residents to join the fight against hunger by raising awareness of the food crisis locally and nationwide. Together, we can reverse the trend.

As part of the month's activities, several Executive Directors and employees of member food banks (including the Executive Director of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, Jim Hires) are trying to make it on $25 a week - the average weekly allotment of food stamps to a typical recipient. You can read about their attempts to eat well on $25 a week at the $25 Challenge Blog.

This evening, the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will present a panel of speakers and advocates exploring the growing problem of hunger in our area and how it's affecting the thousands of families who aren't getting enough to eat. Running on Empty: Hunger's Impact on Our Community will begin at 7 PM at the Champaign Public Library. I'll be there - the Foodbank and the Market have enjoyed a good relationship over the years, with the Foodbank picking up excess produce after each Market throughout the summer.

3. We'll be showcasing at the Health and Wellness Showcase from 2-7 PM this Thursday! See their website for more info about other exhibitors and activities - it looks like there's a lot of fun stuff to do.

Over and out!

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