The Allegan Farmers Market will be offering free rides to the market over the next two years after receiving a government grant.

The rides come through a partnership with Allegan County Transportation after receiving funds from a USDA Agricultural Marketing Services Farmers Market Promotion Program grant. The grant will also cover advertising costs and some administrative costs.

Customers can call Allegan County Transportation and request a free ride to and from the market. Rides will be given within a 10-mile radius of the market. The program will begin in May of 2016.

The market will also be coordinating regular stops with local apartment complexes, so customers who live in those places will not have to request a ride, but can have a ride provided each week at the same time.

Allegan is one of eight farmers markets in the State of Michigan to receive a Farmers Market Promotion Program grant.

“We are so excited to have the opportunities this grant provides. It will help improve the market for both the farmers and the customers, so it really is a win-win,” Kelsie King, City of Allegan Promotions Coordinator, stated.

The Allegan Farmers Market began accepting WIC Project, Senior Market Fresh, and SNAP benefits in 2015. The market also participates in Double Up Food Bucks, which allows those with SNAP benefits to double their money used from their bridge card up to $20, each market day.

The market takes place every Thursday from May to October from 8AM - 2PM in the parking lot at the corner of Water and Cutler Streets in Downtown Allegan.

The last market day for 2015 will be Thursday, October 29.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is giving $13.3 million in Farmers Market Promotion Program grants to 164 marketing and promotion projects involved with farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture and other direct-to-consumer outlets for local food.

Since 2009, the program has given 902 projects over $59.2 million.

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