Eating Smart and Moving More at Farmers Markets this Summer

Guess what is [finally] here? Our Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets campaign! After months of planning, designing campaign materials (billboards, bus signs, magnets, and tote bags), and collaborating with Cooperative Extension Agents and Farmers Market Managers across the state, the campaign is totally up and running. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage more Virginians to Eat Smart & Move more at Farmers Markets using SNAP. Nationwide, more and more SNAP recipients are using SNAP to eat smart and move more at their local farmers market. This helps them afford fresh, local, healthy foods and support their local communities. 

Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets #ESMMatFM

This billboard, shared by VT’s Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, is located in Vinton. Have you seen any #ESMMatFM signs in your community?

Over the summer, several communities hosted Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets events. You can read more about those by clicking the links below.

Spotsylvania’s Farmers Market received a visit from the VA Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Commissioner, Sandy Adams. She even got to taste FNP’s Peach and Tomato Salad recipe during a cooking demonstration by one of our farmers market interns. There was even an editorial highlighting the benefits of SNAP matching programs at Fredericksburg-area farmers markets and encouraging more markets to accept SNAP.

The South Boston Farmers Market hosted several events this summer for the campaign, including two Community Give Back Days and cooking demonstrations by a local chef. For their Farmers Market Week celebration, they officially launched their EBT machine, allowing customers to use SNAP at the market.

The Salem Farmers Market is offering SNAP customers who purchase fruits or vegetables at the market a “Bonus Bag” of farmers market products. In the bag are recipe cards for preparing the items and FNP’s farmers market intern will use those recipes for cooking demonstrations at the market.

In Culpeper, the kids are getting in on the action with “I’m SOW Healthy” cooking classes. Once a month, kids get to prepare and taste recipes using fresh, local fruits and vegetables. So far thy have made Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade and Rainbow Pasta Salad. Next month, they’ll be cooking Zucchini Fritters with Herb Yogurt Dip, so be sure to mark your calendars for September 27th if you’re in the area.

The Lynchburg Farmers Market has held weekly workshops with different cooking demonstrations for preparing foods available at the market. According to the market manager and our FNP employee in Lynchburg, these events have been a great success, with a record amount of SNAP benefits spent at the market during these events.

These are not the only events that have happened this summer, just the ones I’ve seen online. If you know of others, please share in the comments!

Have you visited the farmers market this summer? What foods did you discover that made it fun and tasty to eat smart? Were you able to move more at or on the way to the market?

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