The Washington State Department of Agriculture is working with farmers markets throughout the state to help people who struggle with food insecurity.
Kim Eads, Program Manager for the Food Assistance program, said working with farmers markets helps both the farmers and those in need.
“You get to have, potentially, a new audience if you’re a farmer so maybe someone who’s not ever been to a farmers market before. This is a first opportunity to try new things. A lot of them offer taste tests and it’s just a way to have that conversation with the farmer and really start understanding where that food comes from.”
It also opens up better options for those who might not have access or the financial wherewithal to eat heathier foods.
Eads said this program has been widely accepted.
“Overall across the state, there’s about 78 different farmers markets participating in this particular program so we’re really excited to see both Western Washington and Eastern Washington participate.”
The program generally works by someone with an EBT or WIC card “withdrawing” money at the market information booth and there being a bonus, for example, you get $1 extra for every $2 you take out.
Some of the markets that use WSDA grants to help those with food insecurity are:
Historic Downtown Kennewick Farmers Market
Prosser Farmers Market
Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market
Pasco Farmers Market
Okanogan Valley Farmers Market
Okanogan Valley Farmers Market – Omak
Tonasket Farmers Market
Downtown Farmers Market (Walla Walla)
Yakima Farmers Market
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