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Fresh, Local Food for All

Laura Aiken is a community health specialist with WakeMed and director of Advocates for Health in Action.

Once again, Wake County is leading the way in providing healthy options for our citizens. Beginning June 26, the Western Wake Farmers’ Market in Cary will provide low‐income individuals improved access to fresh, wholesome food by accepting Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, or food stamps.

The transition from paper food stamps to EBT cards left many open-air markets without the technology to sell food to benefits recipients. Now, the Western Wake market is encouraging EBT cardholders to shop their local farmers market for high quality, nutritious and locally-grown foods. The market utilizes a card-reading terminal that will exchange currency on EBT cards for tokens that can be used as cash throughout the market.

Experts agree that fresh, nutritious food is a staple of a healthy diet. This is a significant opportunity to improve our community’s health by providing all residents with the ability to shop at this local farmers’ market for a variety of nutritious food, from just-picked produce to wholesome meat, dairy and bread.

For a limited time, shoppers at the Western Wake Farmers Market who spend $10 on their EBT card will receive an additional $10 match to spend at the market. And, on June 26 we are celebrating this new opportunity for EBT cardholders with special events at the farmers’ market. Linda Watson of “Cook for Good” will provide free samples of fresh food and cooking lessons, and WakeMed will offer free health and wellness screenings and health tips.

The Western Wake Farmer’s Market is open rain or shine, every Saturday through November 20 from 8am to noon.

If you are interested in expanding the program to your local farmers’ market, visit Advocates for Health In Action to learn more. Just click on the “contact us” tab at the top of the web site to send to email to AHA about which market you’d like to expand the program to.

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One thought on “Fresh, Local Food for All

  1. I find that the produce offered at the Western Wake Farmers Market is way to expensive for me. $3.00 for a dozen eggs???? $2.00 for a pond of potatoes or squash??? Ridiculous!!! As a matter of fact, most foods and goods are very expensive in the Triangle area.

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