Stores and small supermarkets only go so far to give you the fruits and vegetables you need for a healthy, balanced diet. If you live in an area that lacks access to fresh produce, think about stocking up at farmers market for quality, local goods from your neighborhood.
Preparing foods at home the way many of our grandmothers did when we were growing up encourages healthier eating habits, strengthens family bonds and helps you save money.
Farmers markets offer families venues to buy fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the producers themselves. Learning more about where food comes from, when produce is in season and how it is grown helps you make educated choices and support your local economy by buying from local producers.
Visiting farmers markets is also great for kids. Some markets offer cooking demonstrations for families, and visiting throughout the year helps kids experiment with different kinds of produce. Including your children in food-buying and prep helps instill a deeper value for healthy food at an early age.
SNAP benefits accepted
If you’re enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you can use your EBT card at thousands of farmers markets across the United States. The USDA website offers a list of these markets for easy reference.
Many markets offer incentives to increase your purchasing power, including bonus dollars or coupons. Check with your local SNAP office for details about using EBT in farmers markets in your area or if you are interested in learning more about the eligibility requirements to enroll in SNAP.
Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program FVRx
Wholesome Wave, a non-profit organization funded by private donations, launched the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx) in 2010. Community healthcare providers distribute fruit and vegetable prescriptions that provide $1 daily subsidies for each member of eligible families to buy fresh produce at farmers markets. The program targets children who are overweight or obese, and pregnant women at risk of diet-related diseases, in underserved communities.
FVRx is currently available in California, Connecticut, New Mexico, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington DC, along with a pilot program launched in New York City in 2013. Visit Wholesome Wave for more information about clinics that offer FVRx.