September 2018 - Parks & Recreation - 58

H E A LT H A N D W E L L N E S S

Another opportunity to bridge
existing nutrition programming
around farmers markets,
is implementing nutrition
education for youth
and families at market
locations.

S
Some
Farmers
F
Market
M
k t
Considerations
The benefits of farmers markets are substantial, and
park and recreation agencies are ideal partners in
these efforts. If you're thinking of starting or expanding agriculture opportunities in your community, here
are some considerations:
Think strategically about location - where is access to
fresh and healthy food limited in your community? How
will people access your farmers market? Is there parking
or public transportation available? Are there volunteers
or ride-share services that can transport people?
In low-income communities, access to fresh fruits
and vegetables is often limited or not accessible.
Accepting benefits, such as SNAP, WIC or SFMNP, is a
great way to ensure that vulnerable families in your
community can afford healthy foods. You can also
consider starting a double-up program so that families
can maximize their benefits.
What partners can you leverage to support the
market? Reach out to local businesses, nonprofits,
faith-based community or other community-serving
organizations to promote the market and leverage
resources. Are there groups that can provide tables
and chairs? Can your local extension office provide a
cooking class or nutrition education?
If your agency doesn't have the resources to start a
farmers market, consider starting a community supported agriculture (CSA) initiative at your existing park and
recreation sites instead. Partner with local producers to
coordinate a program that works for your community
members, considering frequency, cost and demand.]

56

Parks & Recreation

of farmers markets and CSAs is
the ability to connect community members to locally sourced,
he
healthy, seasonal and fresh produ
duce. In addition, produce sold
at farmers markets is often more
affordable and better quality than
what might be found in a grocery
store or local convenience store,
as it's coming directly from a local
source and hasn't been sitting on a
shelf for a few days. Furthermore,
many farmers grow organic and
seasonal produce, so this produce
is chemical free and tastes better
during the growing season.

| S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 | W W W. PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N . O R G

Another opportunity to bridge
existing nutrition programming
around farmers markets is implementing nutrition education for
youth and families at market locations. In Chanute, Kansas, a city
of more than 9,000 residents, the
local farmers market, operated by
Main Street Chanute (www.chan
utemainstreet.com/farmers-mar
ket/) on city property, partners
with the Kansas State Research
and Extension office to conduct
healthy cooking and food preparation classes using ingredients found
at the farmers market. Conducting these classes for parents and
caregivers educates them on how
to buy and prepare healthy foods,
teaching new skills that support a
healthy lifestyle.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, the park
and recreation department is bringing fun and experiential nutrition
education activities out to its local
markets this fall - engaging kids
and caregivers in taste testing, arts



September 2018 - Parks & Recreation

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