Federal Grant Boosts TNP’s Grow Program

WARREN, Ohio – A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve fresh food access in Trumbull County was among the highlights for Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership‘s Garden Resources of Warren program in 2016. The community improvement group released their annual report Wednesday.

The Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program supports TNP’s effort to establish methods for and explore problems around food deserts. The grant will also help the partnership build “a robust food economy.”

To help in that effort, TNP provided gardening tools and soil additives to seven urban agriculture sites, hosted four classes on community gardening, provided more than 1,800 starter plants to be used at community gardens and educated 20 participants in its Garden Resources of Warren – or GROW – program on organizing techniques.

GROW also hosted the Warren Farmers Market, held at Courthouse Square, and grew voucher programs, with a Double Your Dollars program for electronic benefits transfer, or EBT, participants and those in the Mercy Health Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Voucher program. EBT buyers accounted for $3,384 in sales over the course of the summer and $4,802 for Mercy’s program, held at the first market of each month.

TNP also did surveys of customers, vendors and businesses near the farmers market. Most customers, 68%, attended the market at least once a month, while 44% spent between $11 and $20 per visit. Among vendors, 85% said they feel a strong sense of community while slightly more, 86% said they have repeat customers. For nearby businesses, 60% said the market had a positive impact on their business operations and the same amount said the increase in pedestrians downtown helped their business.

The full report can be found on Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership’s  website.

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