Summer is right around the corner. That means plenty of locally-grown produce options will be available. But why is choosing local produce good for you?
- It’s fresh. Most wholesale produce is picked up to a week before it reaches a supermarket and travels an average of 1500 miles! Veggies and fruits grown by local farmers don’t spend days in transport. This means they can be harvested at peak maturity when they are the most nutritious and tasty.
- It supports local farmers. The money you spend on local products stays in the community and boosts the local economy. It’s a win-win for you and the farmers.
- It can cost less. When you purchase produce that is grown locally and in-season, you aren’t paying for the transportation costs of getting food from across the country.
What about families who have a limited grocery budget? Many local farmers markets participate in food assistance programs. Programs like Double Up Food Bucks, Senior Project FRESH and WIC Project FRESH can make buying local an affordable option for those that qualify.
For a list of local farmers markets and their food assistance program participation, visit www.westmichiganfarmmarkets.org/by-county/ and select Kent County.
ACSET Community Action Agency (CAA) also provides food assistance for qualifying families. When in-season, locally grown produce is combined with the pantry staples offered by CAA, low-income families in Kent County can put healthy meals on the table.
Visit CAA’s website to learn more about their nutrition programs and see if you qualify: http://communityactionkent.org/programs/nutrition-services/
Your Community in Action! is provided by ASCET Community Action Agency. To learn more about how they help meet emergency needs and assist with areas of self-sufficiency, visit www.communityactionkent.org