Farms and farmers markets are essential. Here are the top 5 reasons why!
City Green is celebrating National Farmers Market Week, a celebration of all the good that farmers’ markets bring to their communities.
We are honored to partner with our 25 Good Food Buck partner farmers markets for all their efforts to bring good food to people’s tables. Farmers markets are important and multifaceted assets for our communities, and are an essential component of community engagement and healthy food access. As the National Farmers Market Coalition shares, farmers markets:
Stimulate the Local Economy: The USDA reports that for every $1 spent in SNAP, $1.80 in economic growth is generated. In fact, a study by Moody’s Analytics found that “expanding Food Stamps... is the most effective way to prime the economy’s pump” (Zandi 2008). And according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, each $1 billion of retail generated by SNAP creates $340 million in farm production, $110 million in farm value-added, and 3,300 farm jobs. Good Food Buck partners are proud to contribute to New Jersey’s local economy!
Preserve Farmland: The number of small and mid-size farms in the U.S. has been on the decline. Farmers markets provide a lucrative sales outlet for our small local farmers, who are essential for preserving the health of our soil and productive farmland. In 2021, the Good Food Buck program supported over 60 small local farmers across our statewide network of nutrition incentive partners! 2
Increase Access to Healthy Food: At the core of the Good Food Buck program’s mission is creating more equitable access to fresh, healthy foods. Good Food Bucks stretch SNAP dollars further and result in NJ SNAP recipients putting more fruits and vegetables on their tables. A recent report on the impact of USDA GusNIP projects reports that participants of nutrition incentive programs not only consume more fresh fruits and vegetables than the average SNAP user, they consume more fresh produce than the average American!
Support Healthy Communities: In addition to getting the freshest food around, people visit farmers markets for social, political, and educational reasons. At some Good Food Buck partners, you’ll find music and dancing, children’s activities, and free health screenings!
Promote Sustainability: Small local farmers are more likely to use responsible and sustainable growing practices, and by shopping at farmers markets, you can ask the people who grew your food exactly how it was produced. Local food also requires less traveling to get to you, which means fewer pollutants being released into the atmosphere. Local farmers and direct-to-consumer outlets have proven that they are resilient and can adapt to things like supply chain disruptions to meet consumer demand and work with their communities to find effective solutions.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should support and celebrate your local farmers market, and thank your farmers! They are an invaluable piece of the fabric of our communities, and we encourage everyone to visit one of our Good Food Buck partner markets to show your support!