Celebrate National Farmers' Market Week, August 7-13
Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Underway Through November 30
(HARTFORD, CT) –Now in its 23rd year, National Farmers’ Market Week (NFMW) is an annual celebration that highlights the vital role farmers’ markets play in the nation’s food system. Amidst global change, it is now more important than ever to showcase the importance of farmers’ markets in communities!
National Farmers’ Market Week, happening August 7-13, is one way to celebrate the more than 100 certified farmers’ markets and farm stands located throughout Connecticut, as well as the dedicated individuals, teams, and volunteers who bring them to life each week. It is also an opportunity to showcase how farmers’ markets and the food nutrition programs available at them allow consumers to stretch their food dollars with the purchase of fresh, locally grown food products while supporting new and beginning farmers, as well as established producers.
“Connecticut’s farmers’ markets are a collective effort fostering direct to consumer sales, reinforcing the farm to plate connection, and providing a crucial entry point for new and beginning farmers,” said Agriculture Commission Bryan P. Hurlburt. “Farmers’ markets fuel local economies and provide increased access to nutritious, fresh CT Grown food for our most vulnerable populations.”
In the most recent legislative session, the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), administered by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, received additional funding for eligible individuals to redeem checks at certified farmers’ markets or farm stands throughout the state. Eligible individuals include seniors over the age of 60 and women, infants, and children who meet certain guidelines. Here in Connecticut, eligible WIC and Senior participants can receive up to $32.00 in Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program checks to purchase fresh Connecticut Grown fruits, vegetables, cut herbs, and honey. Newly added to the list of eligible items this year are eggs.
Many farmers’ markets also participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, with some offering doubling benefits. Nationally, in 2021, over $100 million in federal nutrition benefits were redeemed at farmers’ markets and with direct marketing farmers ($59m from SNAP, $29.8m from WIC FMNP, $23.7m from Senior FMNP, and $9m from the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program).
These nutrition assistance programs combined with the direct relationships that are forged work to create a more fair and sustainable food system. As the culture of farmers’ markets shifts to reflect their community and improve equity as a safe and accessible place for all.
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