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Oswego-Fulton Chamber to use $20K Shineman grant to boost farmers markets project

By Eric Reinhardt


OSWEGO, N.Y. — The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce (GOFCC) will use a $20,000 grant to support its farmers markets project.

The Richard S. Shineman Foundation awarded the funding, CenterState CEO said in a news release.

The GOFCC is an affiliate of CenterState CEO.

The project includes a new marketing campaign. It also involves equipment upgrades designed to attract attendees and grow the markets' entertainment, educational programs, and vendor offerings, per the news release.

Karen Goetz (right), executive director of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, presents a $20,000 check to Katie Toomey (left), executive director of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, and Sara Broadwell, the organization’s member engagement coordinator. The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce will use the funding for efforts involving its farmers markets project. (Photo provided by CenterState CEO)

It has invested in the farmers markets because it “believes that vibrant weekly markets in both Fulton and Oswego will enhance those communities and the surrounding areas.”

“Our foundation is very impressed by the collaboration taking place in our community to come up with plans to reinvigorate and expand the Fulton and Oswego Farmers Markets,” Karen Goetz, executive director of the Shineman Foundation, said in the news release. “The more collaborative the effort, the more successful the markets will be.”

Based at SUNY Oswego, the Richard S. Shineman Foundation “works to improve the quality of life in Oswego County by providing grants to nonprofit organizations that will enhance the local community,” per the news release.

Over the past year, the GOFCC has worked to improve the markets’ operations, gathering input from farmers, vendors, civic partners, and community members in order to develop a plan. The grant will help the organization use the strategies it has developed.

As part of this effort, the Oswego-Fulton farmers markets capacity-building project seeks to improve service to low-income residents registered in every available federal nutrition assistance program, including SNAP, EBT, and FNMP.

“We have worked hard to enhance the Oswego-Fulton Farmers Markets experience for shoppers by bringing in new vendors and making the markets more accessible,” Katie Toomey, executive director of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, said in the news release. “The beauty of the farmers markets lies in their ability to foster personal connections between residents and provide mutual benefit to the farmers, shoppers, and community at large. Boosting the visibility of the Fulton market, specifically, will once again establish it as a community fixture, where residents can come together to access nutritional foods and build community.”

GOFCC started operating the elements of the capacity building project in April and will continue through November, a timespan that coincides with the markets’ season, CenterState CEO said.


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