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Leah Polzien recaps Main Street Calumet Farmers Market's Incredible 2020

The Main Street Calumet Farmers Market had a banner year in 2020. Despite the challenges brought on by a global pandemic, they saw more vendors, more sales, more customers and even extended the market well into the fall for the first time in the market’s history. For Portage Health Foundation (PHF), all of that was great to hear. But what put this good news over the top for us was the market successfully expanded food access for those most in need. That was highlighted by a 257 percent increase in transactions using SNAP benefits and a 699 percent increase in SNAP benefits dollars spent. In this podcast host Michael H. Babcock and Meghan Jaszczak, RD, from PHF talked with Leah Polzien from Main Street Calumet about what happened in 2020, how PHF helped make that a reality, how that investment fits into PHF’s strategic plan and what the market is looking to make happen in 2021. If you’re inspired by what you hear in this podcast, we invite you to check out our Farmers Market Capacity Building and Food Access Grant RFP. The deadline for this RFP is March 22 and $35,000 in funding is available. This funding could be used to improve existing markets or starting a new one. More information on that is available at