National Farmers Market Week is a time to recognize and celebrate our local farmers markets and the important role they play in the health and well-being of communities throughout the nation.
During the past five years the U.S. has seen a significant increase – nearly 50 percent – in the number of operating farmers markets. In 2016, there are nearly 8,500 farmers markets in the U.S. A National Directory of Farmers Markets is available from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
Farmers markets not only support healthy communities by increasing access to fresh, nutritious foods, they help to stimulate local economies and promote sustainability while helping to preserve rural farmland and the livelihoods of those who live and work in these communities.
Check out this infographic from The Farmers Market Coalition to see more about the positive impact that a farmer’s market can have in a community:
One of the focus areas for Plan4Health is nutrition and improving access to healthy foods. Naturally, farmers markets have played a role in achieving this for coalition’s who are working in this area.
In Kane County, IL, the Kane County Planning Cooperative leveraged their relationship with local farmers markets to set up a booth at various markets throughout the area and were able to reach more than 80,000 residents with information about their efforts. In September 2015, Plan4Health staff visited the coalition in Trenton, NJ where they had the opportunity to tour the neighborhood, including a visit to the local Greenwood Avenue Farmers Market. Here, residents not only had access to fresh fruits and vegetables, but a number of other health related resources, including various screenings they may have otherwise not been able to receive.
For more on farmers markets related to the Plan4Health project check out the blogs below and listen to June’s Nutrition Peer Call, which featured members from the National WIC Association’s Community Partnership for Health Mothers and Children Project for a discussion on farmers markets:
- Farmer’s Markets and Food Hubs: Healthy Food in Kane County
- The Role of Public Markets in Community Building
- Springtime Bloom: Community Gardens and Farmer’s Markets
- Farmer’s Markets in Rural Communities
Check out the the National Farmers Market Week Media Kit from the Farmer’s Market Coalition and the grab-and-go packet from Partnering4Health for more information on this important health observance. Want to help spread the word? Join the conversation on social media with these example posts from the CDC’s Division of Community Health.
Image courtesy of the USDA, National Farmers Market Coalition and Plan4Health.