August 5 - August 11, 2018 is National Farmers Market Week! Started by the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), this week is a time to recognize all the work farmers put into providing fresh, local food, and why it is important to support them.
The local food movement has been snowballing in recent years, and farmers markets are the heart of that movement. The number of documented farmers markets has grown nearly 400% since 1996.
Why should I choose to shop at a farmers market over a grocery store? What's the difference? Farmers markets:
1) Stimulate local economies - Farmers markets return an estimated THREE times as much of their sales to the local economy.
2) Preserve farmland and farm careers - Farmers markets allow for a great industry entry point so new farmers can start small. Studies have shown that farms are significantly more likely to survive if they have local food sales, as 100% of the local dollar goes to the farmer, as opposed to 15 cents of each dollar through food retailer purchases.
3) Increase access to fresh food - Farmers markets bring fresh, nutritious food to the neighborhoods that need it most. Most farmers markets now accept SNAP, HIP, WIC and senior coupons, and a majority of prices will be lower at farmers markets than a retail grocery store.
4) Build your community - Farmers market shoppers have more social interaction than retail market shoppers. Additionally, farmers discuss farming practices with customers that educates them on agriculture and helps bridge the gap between urban and rural communities.
Below you'll find an infographic supplied by the FMC to explain the importance of buying local produce.
Want more info? Visit us at any of our farmers markets (schedule here) or friends at www.farmersmarketcoalition.org!