August 2-8 2015 Declared National Farmers Market Week

Mark Williams, Marshall, Terrence  |  8/6/2014 1:58:36 AM

Kenyana Coates, Joshua Glover, and Jasmine Harris select fresh vegetables to purchase at the Red Stick Mobile Farmers' Market in South Baton Rouge. Assisting the customers is Lisa Gray, Assistant Manager of the RSMFM.

Josh Glover is all smiles after he purchased a cucumber with the token he got for joining the "Sprouts" children's program of the Red Stick Farmers Market.Youth will receive a bag and 2 kids tokens in the Sprouts" program

August 2-8, 2015 was declared "National Farmers Market Week" by USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The declaration was made by an official proclamation signed by Vilsack. This year marks the 16th Annual National Farmers Market Week recognizing the important role that farmers markets play in the agricultural and food economy. While many people enjoy the benefits of their local farmers markets, this is a way to bring additional attention to those who do not frequent these markets, and let us all show we support our local farmers markets.

“It’s important to support your farmers markets because it’s a great way to buy fresh, Louisiana grown fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products among other things. It’s a way to visit with our local producers and support the local economy, not to mention all the added health benefits of buying fresh food,” said Mike Strain, Commissioner of Agriculture for the Louisiana Department of Agriculture .

The Red Stick Mobile Farmers Market operates seasonal markets in the food desert areas of North and South Baton Rouge. A food desert is an area where affordable and nutritious food is difficult to obtain, especially for those without access to an automobile. Food deserts usually exist in rural areas and low-income communities. Some research links them to diet-related health problems in affected populations. The Red Stick Mobile Farmers Markets operate on Wednesdays at the Scotlandville Library, 7373 Scenic Highway from 9:00AM- 11:00am and the Star Hill Baptist Church, 1400 North Foster Drive from 12:30pm-2:00pm. On Thursdays, the markets operate at the Delmont Service Center, 3535 Riley Street from 8:30am- 10:30am, and the Leo S. Butler Community Center, 950 East Washington Street from 12:00pm- 2:00pm. Year round markets are operated on Thursdays at the Pennington Biomedical Center, 6400 Perkins Road from 8:00am- noon and Saturdays at the Downtown Market, 5th and Main Streets, also from 8:00am- noon. The Red Stick Farmers Market accepts Louisiana Purchase Cards, Senior and WIC coupons, as well as cash, credit, and debit cards. Call 225.267.5060 for more information.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry secured a grant to participate in the 2015 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) that allows senior citizens to buy locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets. This program helps to increase access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by seniors, as well as supporting local farmers. Seniors who participate in the program this year have until November 30 to utilize their vouchers. While the program is closed for this year, applications will be accepted again in March of 2016. Senior citizens 60 years and older who meet certain income requirements are urged to contact their parish Council on Aging next year to participate.
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