National Farmers Market week Aug. 7-13

Get to know your local farmers market during National Farmers Market week Aug. 7-13. At a time when more than 60 percent of adult Minnesotans are overweight or obese – and at risk for a host of serious diseases and conditions that drive up health care costs – healthy eating is an important choice. Farmers markets can make the healthy choice the easy choice as local produce is nutritious and affordable.

Purchasing food from local farmers also helps support the local economy. Farmers markets dramatically reduce the journey that food takes to your table and avoid costly, wasteful packaging and emissions. Most farmers markets are accessible by foot or bicycle, providing another way to be healthy.

The City of Minneapolis website has a list of farmers markets in the city. Many of Minneapolis’ Farmers’ Markets also sell organic produce, as well as flowers and artisan food and gifts. For a directory of Minnesota farms, markets and garden centers visit the Minnesota Grown Food and Farm directory.

For EBT users

Get up to $5 in free "Market Bucks" coupons when you buy fresh, healthy food with your EBT card at participating farmers markets in Minneapolis this summer including the Minneapolis farmers market on Lyndale, and the Midtown, West Broadway, and Northeast farmers markets. Visit www.iatp.org/EBT or ask 311 for more information.

The EBT and Market Bucks program also helps customers support local farmers and connect with their communities. In 2010, more than $27,000 was spent at area farmers markets through EBT and Market Bucks, circulating federal food support and other resources into the local economy. In addition, farmers markets encourage an understanding of where food comes from and provide ways for people to connect with their neighbors and community.

Published Aug. 8, 2011