Local Farmers Markets Making it Easier to Get Fresh Foods
Farmers markets in Tulsa are making it easier to get fresh foods on a fixed income. The Cherry Street and Brookside Farmers Markets allow people to use SNAP benefits to get locally grown produce. The local farmers say this program is helping them out. "It will make it more possible for more people to enjoy these kind of things," says Chantee Fisher, Fisher's Produce. Fisher's Produce has been at the Brookside Farmers Market for the past four years and says they have noticed the change. More and more people taking advantage of the Double Up Food Bucks where you can get forty dollars worth of fresh vegetables for 20 dollars. Fisher says a normal, plastic grocery bag full of fresh vegetables will cost about 20 dollars, so with this program you can get two bags full. It does matter the types of vegetables you pick, but you should be able to feed a family of four for a week or two on the amount in those two bags. "Not only is it healthier for them, it's stretching their food dollars further, and supporting our local farmers," says Program Coordinator Cherry Street Farmers Market, Melanie Hunter.Hunter says the program has grown in the past year. They brought in more than twenty-two thousand dollars worth of SNAP benefits for fresh foods last year. That number is up from 6,000 in 2011 and it's all because of the Double Up Food Bucks. Since this program is the first one of it's kind in Oklahoma, they have been chosen to partner with two national organizations, the Fair Food Network out of Michigan, and Wholesome Wave out of Connecticut.These programs are offered at the Cherry Street and Brookside Farmers Markets each week. Since it is a match program, they are always looking for donations.