Healthful food is food that creates good health and it is an important part of a balanced diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important category of healthful foods. A great place to find healthful foods is the Independence Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market. This week, Aug. 6-12, is National Farmers’ Market Week and is a great time to stop by and see what the market has to offer.
The Market is located in the northwest corner of West Walnut Street and South Liberty Street. The Market is open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday beginning in May through the end of October. It is also open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays from June through the end of October. The only exception is the Wednesday and Saturday before Labor Day when the market is closed. Pets, except for service animals, are not allowed in the Market.
To celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week, the Independence Health Department is hosting a special event at the Market on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. The event is free and open to everyone to come see what the Market has to offer.
In addition to regular Market activities, there will be a food demonstration by a local dietitian, fun photo opportunities, and a visit from the Royals Moose Mobile. You can also get a free $5 voucher to use at the Market that day. To get the voucher you must stop at the Health Department table and pick up a market vendor passport. You then take the passport to five different vendors and have them sign it. Once complete bring it back to get a $5 voucher to be used for fruit and vegetable purchases. Passports will be distributed beginning at 9 a.m. and vouchers will be given to those who submit completed passports on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 100 people. There will also be activities for children to participate in to learn about local, healthy food.
Don’t forget SNAP benefits (Food Stamps/EBT) can be used at the Independence Farmer’s and Crafters’ Market on all of the fresh foods available. Those with SNAP can also double their food dollars by participating in the Double Up Food Bucks program. With this program, for every $1 of SNAP benefits spent, the customer will receive a $1 Double Up Food Bucks token to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. Stop by the Market master’s trailer for more details.
Farmers’ markets promote food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it. Come visit the Independence Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market on Aug. 12 to start – or celebrate – eating a healthier diet, trying new foods, picking up some produce favorites, and meeting the people who grow your food. The most important ingredient to make this event a success is you! For more information about the event or the market, call the Health Department at 816-325-7185 or visit www.independencemofarmersmarket.com.
-- Andrew Warlen, MPH, is the director of the Independence Health Department.