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Downtown Alliance gets money to boost Salt Lake farmers market

The Downtown Alliance in Salt Lake City will receive $15,893 from a federal program to promote farmers markets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.

The alliance plans to use the funds for a pilot of an "alternative purchase program" to buy and use electronic benefits transfer and food stamp payment systems and to design and implement a training and education program for farmers market managers, more than 100 farm vendors and food stamp recipients. The program is designed to increase fresh food access and farmer sales, the department said.

The department awarded 23 grants totaling $900,000 under the Farmers Market Promotion Program. Grants were awarded to local governments, nonprofit and economic development corporations and agricultural cooperatives in 16 states and the District of Columbia.