Agricultural Justice Project: The Agricultural Justice Project (AJP) is a collaboration of nonprofits working to create equity and fairness in our food system. The project founders and partners include Florida Organic Growers (FOG), The Farmworkers’ Support Committee (CATA), the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), and the Rural Advancement Foundation, USA, (RAFI-USA). Each of the organizations in this unique partnership and represents a key stakeholder group in agriculture. AJP created the Food Justice Certification label. Food Justice Certified is a label based on high-bar social justice standards for farms, processors, and retailers, including every link in the food chain from seed to table. The approach is holistic; ensuring fair treatment of workers, fair pricing for farmers, and fair business practices. FJC is designed for all agricultural production systems, fiber and cosmetics as well as food. AJP developed standards over four years of stakeholder input involving farmers, farmworkers, and indigenous, retail, and consumer groups. The standards codify in concrete terms what a legitimate claim of “social justice” in organic and sustainable agriculture means.
Alachua County: funded the ACFM EBT project’s initial year, beginning Oct. 1, 2010 and culminating Sept. 30, 2012. Alachua County owns the property on which one market receiving EBT technology operates and will benefit from increased revenues and traffic to this market. The county featured the project on its “Alachua County Talks” television program and will continue promoting the service as well as special events at the booth such as cooking demonstrations. Health Department staff have partnered with FOG to provide tours of the farmers markets for participants in their We Can! Program, a national movement designed to give parents, caregivers, and entire communities a way to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight.
Alachua County Healthy Communities Initiative: FOG is a steering committee member in the Alachua County Healthy Communities Initiative (ACHCI), which was established in 2009 to develop strategies to reduce obesity. ACHCI stakeholders include Alachua County, City of Gainesville, University of Florida, Alachua County School Board, Health Department, Well Florida and other health-related organizations and non-profits critical to disseminating information about the project to their varied audiences. The numerous organizations represented by ACHCI provide information at the market table and co-promote their programs and services. The ACHCI website will feature this and other community health projects.
Alachua County Nutrition Alliance: FOG is a member of the Alachua County Nutrition Alliance (ACNA), which oversees implementation of the Hunger Abatement Plan. There are many community stakeholders involved with ACNA, including the Coalition for Homeless and Hungry, United Way, Catholic Charities, Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, Alachua County, City of Gainesville, Alachua County School Board and others, and they disseminate information about the project to their audiences, ranging from school children to elderly populations. Members also assist in providing educational resources at the booth related to federal nutrition benefits, self-sufficiency, cooking and food security issues.
City of Gainesville: The City of Gainesville operates the Bo Diddley Community Plaza in Downtown Gainesville, site of the Union Street Farmers Market. A large number of high-density new housing developments are being constructed blocks from the farmers market site at the Plaza, part of the new “Innovation Corridor” under construction that will increase traffic between the University of Florida and Downtown Gainesville and impact attendance at farmers market downtown.
The Domestic Fair Trade Association: a collaboration of organizations representing farmers, farmworkers, food system workers, retailers, manufacturers, processors, and non-governmental organizations. Internationally, the Fair Trade movement has united farmers, workers, traders and consumers with a message of fairness, equity and environmental stewardship in trade with producers in marginalized countries. Increasingly, we can see that the challenges faced by rural communities are very similar around the world.
Department of Children and Families: FOG partnered with DCF when the project started to become an Access Partner, which provides partners with a laptop so they can accept SNAP applications via wireless internet. FOG makes the laptop, paper SNAP applications other information about federal nutrition benefits available at the EBT Booth.
ElderCare: ElderCare distributes a Senior Farmer Market Nutrition Coupon in late spring and early summer. Flyers promoting the availability of EBT at the two markets are made available at the coupon pick up sites encouraging recipients to utilize both EBT and the Senior Farmer Market Nutrition Coupon.
Farmers Markets Managers/Board: FOG works with managers and board members of the two farmers markets to promote the project, organize special events and communicate with vendors. This includes providing trainings to applicable market staff and farmers, and assistance with promotion materials.
Farmers Market Coalition: The national Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) provides technical assistance through their Resource Library. FMC’s president, Sharon Yeago, is a local food activist in North Florida and has considerable experience with EBT at farmers markets in Florida.
University of Florida IFAS Extension: IFAS Extension assists in outreach to inform growers of the project and enhanced direct marketing opportunities and to encourage more growers to participate in farmers markets. IFAS offers many free or low cost public workshops through their Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). IFAS provides educational resources at the EBT booth.
University of Florida College of Medicine: UF College of Medicine disseminates information about the EBT project to low-income populations serviced by their mobile health clinic.
Wholesome Wave: Wholesome Wave, a 501(c)(3), has piloted Double Value Coupons and funded programs at individual markets in numerous states across the country. Their program models and templates are designed for expansion into communities across America. Wholesome Wave shared the resources they developed with FOG and was integral to getting the project off the ground in fall 2010.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), North Florida: FOG promotes the availability of EBT at the farmers markets by making flyers available at the North Florida Women, Infants and Children (WIC) offices. The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Coupons are distributed in late-spring and early summer, promoted alongside EBT availability at farmers market in the outreach campaign.