With grocery prices on the rise and the economy experiencing demise, clean and healthy eating habits are becoming ever so slightly more difficult each growing season. While there are countless programs promoting eating healthy, especially for children, there are little programs actually providing funding or meals in accordance with this lifestyle shift.
This time of year, many grocery stores and canned food drives are offering to feed the hungry. Due to the fact that less healthy, and often processed, foods are less expensive, these are often the items that are donated. This incredible gift is nothing to criticize. However, Athens Farmers Market provides a great alternative source for clean healthy living for the less fortunate.
Athens Farmers Market is not only now accepting credit/debit cards, they will also honor EBT cards. Customers can swipe their card and choose a designated amount they wish to spend. They will in turn receive chips worth a dollar each, accepted at every vendor. The buck doesn’t stop here. Customers purchasing chips with an EBT card can double their money. For $15 spent on an EBT card, the customer will receive 30 chips instead of 15.
The question that then arises is often, “Will this really be of service to provide an equal alternative?” After evaluating the general prices in comparison to the typical grocery costs, yes! Produce from a farmers market is often a little bit more expensive, but you are also getting a locally grown, often organic product, free of any processing or rough handling during shipment. A bushel of carrots, for instance, may come with a few less carrots than the grocery store package. However, you can see everything you are getting, there are no bruised or partially unusable plants, and you get to speak firsthand with the farmers to know precisely where your food came from.
Making healthy lifestyles possible for all citizens by providing clean, healthy foods at accessible prices is just one of the many ways Athens Farmers Market is supporting the community. When you buy local, you give back to your community in multiple ways. This is just one of the many philanthropies Athens organizations are able to offer due to the support of their citizens and neighbors.
The Athens Farmers Market takes place at Bishop Park every Saturday morning, May 28, 2011 – December 17, 2011, from 9am until noon.