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Ready set go its farmer market season

Jerry Hebron             COURTESY PHOTO

Jerry Hebron COURTESY PHOTO

By Jerry Hebron

In case you have not heard, farmers’ markets around the city are opening, bringing lots of fresh fruits, produce and other goodies. Detroit is fortunate to have 13 community markets working to bring food, education, activities and other resources to increase access to healthy food.

One resource is the Fair Food Network Double Up Food Bucks program which begins June 1. Double Up Food Bucks stretches food dollars for families who receive SNAP Bridge Card benefits to purchase local fruits and vegetables. The process is easy; it works like this:

–  Bring your Bridge Card to the farmer’s market office or info booth before you begin shopping at the market.

– Tell the attendant how much you want to spend at market that day and your Bridge Card will be swiped for that amount.

– You will receive $2 free for every $2 spent — up to $20 — to use for fruits and vegetables grown in Michigan.

–  You do not have to spend all the tokens the day you receive them, however, you must spend them prior to the end of program which for this year is October 31.

It is that simple!

Another advantage consumers have at farmers’ markets is the opportunity to know your farmer.  You can learn more about where your food is coming from, how it is grown, and have produce grown to your specification.  Farmers’ markets will have fruits and vegetables that are in season and low cost. Urban and rural farmers are always looking for ways to get their produce to market and what a better way than to meet consumers’ request.  So, be sure to let the growers know what is culturally appropriate for your family’s needs.

The Double Up Food Bucks program runs this year from June 1 to Oct. 31. For additional questions call 866.586.2796 or visit www.doubleupfoodbucks.org.

Jerry Ann Hebron is executive director of Northend Christian CDC and a member of the Detroit Food Policy Council.

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