NEW ORLEANS (press release) – A special emergency fund, Market Umbrella’s 2021 “Crescent Fund,” has been established to help dozens of local farmers, ranchers, fishers and food producers devastated by Hurricane Ida’s destructive winds. These local food producers regularly provide fresh food products to tens of thousands of shoppers at farmers’ markets across Southeast Louisiana. To help get them back on their feet and help support their return to markets, the fund has been activated and received its first major donation with a $7,500 contribution from Fidelity Bank.
Market Umbrella, the local non-profit that operates the Crescent City Farmers Markets and several food access programs, manages the “Crescent Fund,” which will provide emergency relief to many of the 65 local farmers, ranchers, food producers and fishers who are vendors at area farmers’ markets and whose crops, livestock, farms, production facilities and boats were devastated by Category 4 winds of Hurricane Ida.
With the extensive damage sustained by local farms, fishing boats, and other infrastructure needed to operate these small, local food producing businesses due to Hurricane Ida, Market Umbrella has opened the “Crescent Fund” and is calling for donations. All donations made to this fund will go directly to the farmers, fishers, ranchers, and food producers of the Crescent City Farmers Market community so that they can return to market with shoppers’ favorite products as soon as possible.
Market Umbrella officials say with the importance of supplying fresh food goods and products to New Orleans area residents, many of whom are low-income families, they will resume holding Crescent City Farmers Markets on Tuesday, September 14 from 8 am – Noon at Uptown Square with as many vendors and food supplies as are available.
Historically, Crescent City Farmers Markets have contributed significantly to the local economy with their flagship market locations each having an annual combined economic impact of over $5 million on vendors, host neighborhoods and surrounding regions. Additionally, Crescent City Farmers Markets accept the largest amount of SNAP dollars of all farmers markets in the state of Louisiana, and this year will distribute over $125,000 of matching incentives for SNAP shoppers – keeping these federal and private donor dollars circulating within the local economy.
Fidelity Bank’s contribution as well as other private and public donations to the “Crescent Fund” will help the New Orleans local food system by getting vendors back to market so that they can continue facilitating access to fresh, nutritious food for the New Orleans community.
To donate to Market Umbrella’s “Crescent Fund,” click here.
“In Louisiana, food is life, and local farmers, ranchers, food producers and fishers give our state life by providing the fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, seafood and more that we all know and love,” Fidelity Bank President and CEO Chris Ferris said. “We’re committed to building relationships throughout the area we service, and our entire banking team couldn’t have found a better cause to get behind than getting these vital Louisianians back up and running after Hurricane Ida.”