Next week (Aug. 6 - 12) is National Farmers Markets Week. Now is a great time to expand your local food shopping and support local farmers. Shopping at a farmers market is a great way to make an impact because Farmers Markets:
- Preserve America’s rural livelihoods and farmland. Farmers markets provide one of the only low-barrier entry points for beginning farmers, allowing them to start small, test the market, and grow their businesses.
- Stimulate local economies. Growers selling locally create 13 full time farm operator jobs per $1 million in revenue earned. Those that do not sell locally create 3.
- Increase access to fresh, nutritious food. Several studies have found lower prices for conventional and organic produce at farmers markets than at supermarkets. Due to this and other factors, 52% more SNAP households shop at farmers markets and from direct marketing farmers today than in 2011.
- Support healthy communities. Farmers market vendors educate their shoppers. Four out of five farmers selling at markets discuss farming practices with their customers, and three in five discuss nutrition and how to prepare food.
- Promote sustainability. Three out of every four farmers selling at farmers markets say they use practices consistent with organic standards
Need to know where to get started? Check out the CORV guide to find the farmers market nearest you and commit to spending just 10% of your grocery budget on local foods. If you shop with SNAP benefits, be sure to ask if the market offers Produce Perks. You can get up to $10 per week for every $10 worth of produce that you purchase with SNAP at participating vendors.
Fun fact: If 10% of the regional population shifts 10% of their food dollars to local food, it will result in over $56,000,000 infused into our local economy!