Happy National Farmers Market Week!
This year, August 7 through 13 is Farmers Market week. Thousands of farmers markets across the country offer consumers affordable, convenient, and healthful products sold directly from the farm in their freshest possible state, increasing consumer access to fresh fruits and vegetables and thus promoting child health and potentially reducing childhood obesity. Farmers markets also play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support the sustainability of family farms, revitalize communities, and provide opportunities for farmers and consumers to interact. Read more »
A volunteer at the USDA People's Garden tends to Blossom and German Extra Hardy garlic. The USDA through its People's Garden encourages everyone to grow their own food whether it's a couple of tomato plants or an acre of biointensively grown vegetables. USDA photo by Lance Cheung
Every month, more than 44 million people use SNAP to get nutritious food. Most of us probably imagine participants buying items like tomatoes, squash, and apples with their benefits. But did you know that SNAP can also help people grow their own food? With SNAP, participants can buy seeds and edible plants. It’s a great way to get fresh produce right at home! All SNAP retailers, including Farmers’ Markets, can sell seeds and plants to SNAP participants. Read more »
In February, 2011, Centro del Obrero Fronterizo was awarded one of 14 FY 2010 Hunger-Free Communities Grants. Grantee projects started on March 15, 2011, and even after only two short months our grantees are noting encouraging results. Centro del Obrero Fronterizo provided this background and update in a recent report:
“The Chamizal Neighborhood in El Paso, Texas, is one of the most impoverished in the nation, according to the Federal Reserve Bank. Dozens of empty warehouses dot the landscape, a testament to the decline of a garment industry that once flourished here, employing thousands of Mexican immigrant women. When the industry left the area in search of cheaper labor, thousands of women were left unemployed. In 1981, displaced female garment workers established La Mujer Obrera in hopes of broadening economic and educational opportunities by creating jobs based on community needs. Read more »
Stephen Kendall, Food Donations Coordinator at DC Central Kitchen, and students from Powell Elementary School in NW, DC hunt for herbs in the Truck Farm during the USDA Farmers Market and the official kick off of the People's Garden Friday activities on Friday, June 3, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
In his opening remarks at this season’s first Department of Agriculture Farmers Market, held adjacent to our headquarters on the National Mall, Secretary Vilsack spoke about the national movement to rebuild our rural economy and connect urban communities with America’s farmers. The market—a bustle of activity with a crowd of shoppers purchasing produce, homemade preserves, and artisanal bread—was a festive celebration of that movement, but not the only attraction of the day! Read more »
USDA Agriculture Marketing Service
Today USDA opened the annual updating of the National Farmers Market Directory. The Directory captures information about where and when farmers markets operate, if they participate in federal nutrition benefit programs, and detailed information about their seasonality and location. It is a great tool for markets to make sure people in their community can find them; in addition to helping people find the closest farmers market, they are included in maps, mobile apps and other stats. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
Fresh, nutritious food is a cornerstone of a community’s physical health, but community health is more than physical well-being. A vibrant, healthy community encompasses both the well-being of consumers through improved health, and the well-being of producers through improved economic outcomes. Making this connection, and providing healthy, affordable food supplies, are goals of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. Read more »