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Farmers markets expand access to locally grown produce to lower-income residents

Summary

Proclaiming Aug. 2-8 Farmers Market Week in King County, Executive Dow Constantine lauds improved access to farmers markets and fresh, healthy food for all economic backgrounds.

Story

The height of summer brings an abundance of fruit, vegetables and other items straight from King County farms, and Executive Dow Constantine encouraged residents to support local farms by visiting any of the county’s 41 farmers markets.

“Every time we fill up our cloth bags with nutritious produce at a neighborhood farmers market, we’re supporting the farm-to-table pipeline in King County,” said Executive Constantine in proclaiming Aug. 2-8 as Farmers Market Week in King County. “Purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables directly from local farmers helps ensure they remain a reliable source for wholesome food for everyone in our community.”

Farmers markets are a key part of Executive Constantine’s Local Food Initiative to better connect farmers and consumers, support farming and protect farmland, and increase the access to healthy and affordable foods across King County.

From apples and beans, to turnips and zucchini, farmers markets throughout King County are brimming with delicious, nutritious food. Many farmers markets also offer farm-fresh eggs and meat, while some markets sell cheese, wine and other products that were also grown and produced here in King County.

Learn more about King County’s farmers markets, including market schedules, what’s new and more at the Cascade Harvest Coalition’s Puget Sound Fresh website, http://www.pugetsoundfresh.org/.

Markets are working to become more accessible to low-income shoppers. This July, the Renton Farmers Market became the first city-run farmers market in the state to accept EBT cards, also known as food stamps. Fresh Bucks programs in Seattle, Duvall, and Vashon Island give people who use an EBT card up to $10 extra to purchase fruits and vegetables.

Many markets in the county are working to expand acceptance of EBT cards and the Fresh Bucks program. Find all the farmers markets accepting EBT cards on the Washington State Farmers Market Association website, http://www.wafarmersmarkets.com.

King County’s farmers markets are an important part of the food economy, with more than 2.3 million shoppers and sales well in excess of $10 million – and that doesn’t include the biggest farmers market of them all: Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

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