Expanding Healthy Food Options for Low-Income Residents: Local Farmers Markets

English: vegetables

English: vegetables (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fruits and vegetables are sprouting up in local gardens and farms across the state, bringing life to Baltimore’s numerous Farmer’s Markets. Food at farmer’s markets is generally fresh, of high quality, and often less expensive than at grocery stores.

Fortunately for Marylanders, access to fresh, healthy, affordable food is becoming easier for more low-income individuals as more and more local farmer’s markets accept federal nutrition benefits such as EBT, WIC-FVC, SNAP, FMNP-Seniorsand FMNP-WIC

On June 1st, the Farmer’s Market Nutrition (FMNP) program launched which enables qualified Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and elders over 60 years of age to use their benefits to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and honey from Maryland farmers markets.

Additionally, eleven markets are offering Maryland Hunger Solutions’ Baltimore Bucks incentives, which allow customers shopping with their WIC Fruit and Vegetable checks and/or EBT/Independence Cards to double their benefit dollars up to $5 at the market.

Wondering where your nearest market is? You’re in luck. Earlier this week, the Eat Fresh Maryland Network released the 2013 Farmers Market Map. The searchable map allows users to locate their nearest market, learn what benefits they accept, and find out which days and times their market is open.

See you at the market!

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Shannon is an advocate for social change. Her passion for systemic, holistic approaches to the health of individuals and communities has taken her to cities across the US and to Guyana. Read more.

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