Here at City Green, we are so excited to celebrate National Farmers Market Week August 6th-12th with all of our Good Food Bucks farmers market and farm stand partners!
The New Jersey and national farm and farmers market community has continued to showcase adaptability in our rapidly changing world. While farmers markets have always been essential to our local food systems, in this moment of widespread changes, we want to also recognize the ways in which farmers markets are essential tools for shaping our worlds, and how they bring about important opportunities for us to learn, grow, and work together. More than ever, we need places where people can come together. Farmers markets are designed in partnership with the communities they are in, creating a space where market operators, farmers, shoppers, and neighbors can collaborate to meet the evolving needs of our communities, and to join together in creating a sense of community.
Cook's Market at Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick, NJ pictured here -- one of our many successful Good Food Bucks partner farmers markets!
National Farmers Market Week is an occasion to highlight how farmers markets are changing the way we eat, shop, connect, and more!
In New Jersey, over 30 community farmers markets and farm stands are collaborating to ensure New Jerseyans all over the state are able to purchase healthy, locally grown food at an affordable price by participating in City Green’s Good Food Bucks SNAP Nutrition Incentive program. City Green launched Good Food Bucks in 2011, and as word of the initiative spread, more farmers and farmers markets joined this healthy food affordability initiative each year. Now, Good Food Bucks is supported by the USDA GusNIP (Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program), and is the only statewide SNAP nutrition incentive program that spans 15 of our state’s 21 counties. Even more, over 90 local and regional farmers participate in Good Food Bucks farmers markets.
Shoppers enjoy New Jersey's agricultural abundance at the Montclair Farmers Market!
Our network of Good Food Buck farmers market partners are making a BIG impact in our community – not only are they making healthy food more affordable, but they are serving as pillars of community connectedness and food system resilience.
Shoppers congregate over fresh veggies at City Green's Farm Stand at the City Green Farm Eco-Center in Clifton, NJ
Farmers Markets provide safe, accessible spaces for the community to gather. On average, people experience 15-20 social interactions at the farmers market, compared to only 1 or 2 at the grocery store. We witness that every week at our farmers markets, and love chatting with neighbors, exchanging recipe ideas and stories, and meeting local farmers and small business owners that we may have not crossed paths with otherwise. Farmers Markets also play an important role in stimulating the local economy by providing a space for small local business owners and for local farmers to bring their goods to the community and earn a living. And, for farmers markets that offer nutrition incentives like Good Food Bucks, every dollar of incentives spent at a farmers market is estimated to generate up to $3 in economic activity. NJ farmers markets also provide a reliable source of quality food. Locally-driven food systems are more resilient to unexpected disruptions that may occur in global supply chains. When your grocery store shelves are bare due to something like a global pandemic, your local farmers can still bring an abundance of fresh food to the farmers market in your community.
So this week, we encourage you to enjoy your beautiful local farmers market, enjoy the food and the community, and take a moment to really engage with the vendors, and the market operators who make the market happen. Farmers Markets require a lot of work and support in order to thrive, so stop by the market manager table, or visit your favorite vendor, and share your gratitude and support!
See you at the market!
Here are some more ways you can show your support during National Farmers Market Week:
Find a Good Food Bucks farmers market near you by using the locator tool on goodfoodbucks.com Shop regularly at your farmers market – and tell your friends to do the same! Follow all directions and guidelines for safety while at the market, and say thank you to the market team!
Local food fans are encouraged to share National Farmers Market Week on social media! Tag #goodfoodbucksNJ and use #LoveMyMarket and #FarmersMarketWeek when you visit a participating farmers market to share the bounty of the season on Facebook and Instagram
Volunteer with or donate to your local farmers market, or ask the market manager how you can support. Farmers Markets rely on community members like you to thrive!