Mini Market

Mini Farmers Market

The initiative “Mini Farmers Market” relates to the MAP Initiative 2, “Fostering Collaboration” and Initiative 5, “Managing Community Resources”. A mini farmers market would help to accomplish Initiative 2 by strengthening interrelationships in the neighborhood of Thomas Park/Avondale (TPA), and by creating bonds to people and places through cooperation. A mini farmers market is important for Initiative 5 because it provides an outlet for local gardeners and growers to distribute goods, which reduces economic leakage and increases residential health. The mini farmers market allows healthy food to be distributed in TPA and allows residents to make money off of their gardens. The mini market could be a weekly event where residents can sell their homegrown produce. Residents would be able to shop close to home, and Muncie residents would have a greater availability of local healthy food.

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Figure 1: Illustration of a mini-market Source: Spencer Starke 

How

This initiative was created in response to the demand for local food, which was made aware through emails to Lisa Dunaway, and the desire for local business, which was voiced in both emails and neighborhood meetings. Residents discussed this desire during the February 2016 Thomas Park/Avondale Neighborhood Association (TPANA) meeting.

Funding

Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP).

LFPP grants fund local and regional food business enterprises that serve as intermediaries to process, distribute, aggregate, and store locally-or regionally-produced food products. Projects also provide technical assistance and outreach, including planning grants for local food businesses.

The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) offers grant funds with a 25% match to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. There are two types of project applications that are accepted under LFPP—planning grants and implementation grants. Applicants can apply for either but will receive only one type of grant in the same grant cycle.LFPP Planning Grants are used in the planning stages of establishing or expanding a local and regional food business enterprise. Activities can include but are not limited to market research, feasibility studies, and business planning.

LFPP Implementation Grants are used to establish a new local and regional food business enterprise, or to improve or expand an existing local or regional food business enterprise. Activities can include, but are not limited to, training and technical assistance for the business enterprise and/or for producers working with the business enterprise; outreach and marketing to buyers and consumers; and non-construction infrastructure improvements to business enterprise facilities or information technology systems.

Eligible entities may apply if they support local and regional food business enterprises that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally-produced food products. Such entities may include:

  • Agricultural businesses and cooperatives
  • Producer networks and associations
  • Community supported agriculture networks and associations
  • Other agricultural business entities (for-profit groups)
  • Nonprofit and public benefit corporations
  • Economic development corporations
  • Regional farmers’ market authorities
  • Local and tribal governments

 

What are the application requirements?

You can find the requirements for submitting an application in the most recently published Request for Applications.

What are the required forms?

Each application must include the following forms:

  • FMPP Narrative Form
  • Forms SF-424, SF-424A, SF-424B, AD-3030, and AD-3031 can be found with the grants.govwebsite application submission.

Additionally, applicants must include the following forms if they apply:

 

Is there anything else I need to apply?

You need to complete the following steps to apply for a grant:

  1. Apply for a DUNS number
  2. Register with System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
  3. Register with grants.gov

 

Thomas Park/ Avondale has the potential to establish more local food distributors and processors through finances provide by this grant/matching system. This would help increase food security and economic development opportunities for the residents of the neighborhood.

Source: LFPP (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2016, from https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/lfpp/

What

Small market projects such as this one have access to many types of funding currently; however, in order to be applicable for this funding, an organization must receive and use these funds. Thus, the first step in this project would be to form an organization or committee that is either part of the Ross Center or perhaps a gardening club. The club or organization can then apply for grants and funding. The club would organize and maintain the market, attract vendors and members, and determine the rules for operation. The club could be composed of people with experience with farmers markets or gardening. Community gardens, classes, and small businesses all could be affiliated with the club and use the mini-market as a learning device as well as supplemental income. After the club is formed, the mini-market can be established.

In order to avoid the permit requirements and the safety inspections of a typical food establishment, most of the market’s vendors of the market are recommended to be home based vendors (HBV). Under the Indiana Health Enrollment Act 1309 (2009), food sellers functioning as HBVs are not subject to health inspections and permit requirements of other food establishments. HBVs have several limitations, the two biggest being vending location and products types. HBVs’ vending location must either be a roadside stand or farmers market, and HBVs cannot sell any products that are potentially hazardous food products. HBVs cannot sell to food distributors (such as restaurants and stores) but must sell directly to the consumer. The mini-market could house other food establishments, but encouraging HBVs to take part in the market would truly encourage local production within the neighborhood. The specifics of the HBV regulations are much more lengthy than has been mentioned above. A thorough introduction to HEA 1309 can be found. here.

The location of the market would be determined by the club, but some examples of suitable location would be the Ross Center parking lot, the Rose Park basketball court, or even the Maring-Hunt Library parking lot. The location could be a centrally-located area in the neighborhood that has enough space for the number of projected vendors.

Case Studies

Case Study: Orange County Homegrown, Paoli, Indiana

Orange County Homegrown is a non-profit organization founded to create awareness about and enable local food producers. After starting the non-profit they started a local market. The market seeks to provide local produce for Paoli residents. Later on they established the Lost River Market and Deli, a cooperative food store that sources locally. Source

 

Case Study: Mini-Markets, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mini-markets are popping up throughout Minneapolis, especially in the lower income areas of the city. These mini-markets help to address Minneapolis’ food deserts. The markets are no bigger than four vendors large to avoid extra licensing fees and the products are locally grown. The small nature of these markets has made them resilient and flexible to meet the needs of the area. More mini-markets are appearing each year as a result of their success. Source