Get Healthy with the Farmers Market

— Written By Janice Fields and last updated by

I remember growing up on the farm eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and meats throughout the year. Mama preserved everything she could, from salting down the bacon or ham to freezing and canning other foods. I was blessed to never feel real hunger. Today, we have older adults and families amongst us that face the tough decision on whether to pay for food or a bill. All too often, they compromise for less healthy, processed food options that seem more budget friendly. The reality about these “budget friendly” foods is they can lead to increased healthcare expenses. Those folks could benefit from a little relief in buying fresh foods.

Thankfully, there is a way to help out those in need and help out our farmers. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides paper coupons that can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables at the farmers market to senior citizens who are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. What a great way to increase purchasing power of healthy foods while supporting our local farmers!

The Robeson County Farmers Market is sponsoring a “Senior Citizens’ Day” Wednesday, September 11, 2019. Seniors can also use these vouchers every Wednesday and Saturday that the market is open as long as they do so by the date on the vouchers. SNAP recipients can use their vouchers to purchase produce at the market. Senior citizens with the paper vouchers can use them to purchase food at the market. Folks of all ages can drop by to check out the September bounty and food samples. North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, will provide food demonstrations, free samples, and recipes from produce provided by our local farmers. If you like our samples, you can use the recipes to make a list of items you need to purchase at the market and then make it at home.

Fresh produce directly from the farm is not only healthy, it is better for your wallet. So come out to the Farmers Market,  on the corner of  8th and Elm Streets in downtown Lumberton and choose a healthier lifestyle! For more information, please contact Janice Fields, Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at Janice_Fields@ncsu.edu, or visit our website at //robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/.

NC State University and N.C. A&T State University are collectively committed to positive action to secure equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, and veteran status. NC State, N.C. A&T, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.