Friday, February 28, 2014

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

By now you have probably noticed that there is a big blue ATM at the entrance of the Pavilion. For years, customers asked if it would ever be possible to get an ATM at the Market. With lots of research and the support of Durham Central Park (our landlord and partner), we figured out the logistics and the ATM (finally) came to the Market.

But, did you know that that ATM actually helps to support the Market? For each transaction, $1.50 of the $3 fee goes directly to the Market. When we learned that would be the case, the Market's Board of Directors resolved to use those funds to support the implementation and ongoing costs of setting up a system so that the Market's vendors can accept SNAP/EBT benefits.

During 2013, the Market's Board and staff laid the groundwork to set up our program. Starting this April, the Durham Farmers' Market will begin to accept SNAP/EBT benefits! SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a program formerly known as Food Stamps. SNAP benefits are issued through Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) debit cards. Each month millions of low income Americans, including over 50,000 Durhamites, receive SNAP benefits to help put food on the table.  

This program is going to be a great opportunity to reach more of the community by increasing accessibility to good food for all people in Durham.  SNAP/EBT customers will be able swipe their card at an info table at the market and receive wooden tokens that will be worth $1 each. They can use the tokens to shop for eligible foods, such as breads, fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry and dairy products. The Market will also be offering a Double Bucks program where shoppers using SNAP benefits will receive up to ten additional tokens when they spend $10.  The Double Bucks program will be funded by local sponsorships and grant money.

Over the winter, we hired Jenny Elander as our SNAP/EBT Coordinator. Jenny is very excited to help get this program off the ground. "I think it's great that the community is helping to fund this program at the Durham Farmers' Market through their use of the ATM, because it is something that will benefit everyone" says Elander. "This program has the potential to greatly improve the health of our community by increasing access to fresh, local foods.  We are really excited to get it off the ground this spring!"

Tomorrow at Market:
Our farmers are finally starting to recover from the extreme cold and excessive precipitation over the past couple of weeks. So, you can look forward to a steadily increasing supply of green vegetables along with all of the other yummy things the Market vendors have to offer!

See you at the Market,
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
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Fresh this Week....
VEGETABLES: Arugula, Asian Greens, Beets, Beet Greens, Cabbage, Carrots, Collards, Daikon Radish, Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Fennel, Fresh & Dried Herbs, Garlic, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Miners Lettuce, Minutina, Potatoes, Napa Cabbage, Parsnips (possibly), Pea Shoots, Radishes, Salad Mix, Scallions, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Sweet Potatoes, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Turnips, Turnip Greens, Winter Squash, and more
MEATS AND EGGS: Pork, Beef, Quail, Lamb & Mutton, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Veal, Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged COW and GOAT milk cheeses.
PLANTS: A few House Plants.
FLOWERS: Anemones, Poppies, Tulips, Stock, Mixed Bouquets, Dried Bouquets
SPECIALTY ITEMS: Gluten Free Baked Goods, Raw & Creamed Honey, Pasta, Flour, Cornmeal, Grits, Baked Goods including Pies, Breads, Cookies & Pastries, Fermented Foods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool
CRAFTS: Pottery, Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Goats Milk Soaps, Body Butters, Lotions, Yarn, Roving, and much more...

Produce availability depends on weather conditions 

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