Cent$ible Nutrition News • June 2021 • Volume 24 | Number 9
Farmers market season is nearly here, which means fresh, local produce is on the way. While buying in-season is a good way to save money, you might be wondering, is buying produce at the farmers market good for your budget?
That depends on several things.
First, does the market have fruits and vegetables that you and your family will eat? There might be fresh, in-season options at the market, but if the produce isn’t something your family will eat, it isn’t a good buy. Trying new produce, however, can be a good way to mix up your meals and find your new favorite fruit or vegetable, so don’t be afraid to be adventurous.
Second, does the market accept EBT? Many markets accept SNAP EBT, which allows you to use your benefits as you would at the grocery store. When you use your EBT card, your card will be charged for a set amount of money and you will receive tokens or tickets to use at the market. The same rules apply at the market as at any other store for what you can buy with EBT.
Third, are there incentive programs for people using EBT? Some markets offer additional tokens or tickets for people who use EBT at the market. For example, the market may offer you up to twice the amount of money you charge to your EBT card through tokens or tickets to use at the market.
Make the most out of your farmers market experience with these tips:
Before the Market
- Find out what produce is available at the market- produce will change from week to week.
- Make a list of items you need and can use in 5-7 days.
- Take your EBT card with you and a reusable bag for your purchases.
At the Market
- Get tokens or tickets from the information tent or booth.
- Look for recipe ideas, samples, and nutrition and food safety information.
- Walk around the market to see what is available before purchasing anything. Many vendors offer similar produce at different prices.
- Ask vendors questions about their produce and ways to prepare it.
After the Market
- Store produce properly to make it last. Most produce will last 5-7 days.
- Remember to wash produce before eating, cutting, peeling, or cooking.
- Contact your local CNP Educator for recipes, food safety information, storage guidelines, and to find out about free nutrition and cooking classes!
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