A Fresh Look at the Farmers Market Nutrition Program
By Lexy Vorhies
Volunteer Blogger, Tarrant Area Food Bank
It was a bright Tuesday morning, and although it was hot outside, it didn’t stop the clients and volunteers from being in great spirits at the first Farmers Market Nutrition Program event of the summer. Tables of red, yellow, purple and green vegetables and fruits were perfectly displayed. On a table nearby, there were vitamins for kids, baby food, and multivitamins for adults. While families waited in line, volunteers handed out breakfast bags packed with cereal, milk and fruit.
Accessibility is the key to the Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB) Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The idea is to bring healthy, fresh and local produce straight to the communities that need it most. This is accomplished by partnering with local farmers, like Farmer Jack Finley out of Lipan, Texas, who distribute the produce straight from their farms to this outdoor farmers market.
Farmers Market Nutrition Program Empowers Families
All that is seen are smiling faces from the volunteers all the way from the beginning of the line of tables to the end. Through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, TAFB not only provides nutritious foods, but also empowers Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants to take charge of their health and make informed decisions about what’s best for their families. While talking with the people who benefit from this program, it is apparent that it has a profound impact.
“Well, me having four kids, it’s definitely a big help,” Chelsea Peters said. “We like to eat healthy foods. We eat a lot of fruits and a lot of vegetables.”
When asked if she would return to the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Peters said she definitely would.
“It was nice, easy and effortless. If I had had a hard time maneuvering it, especially with my two kids here and the double stroller, I would have been like ‘no it’s not worth the headache,’ but this is very easy. The transition from one section [of the market] to the other was flawless. I would definitely come again. They did a great job.”
Other participants shared the same sentiment.
“I liked it,” Maria Montanez said. “My favorite part was the people and the way they treated us and guided us through.”
From the happiness of the volunteers to the gratitude from participants, everyone can see the benefit of the program. It not only helps the parents, but also the kids who will end up being healthier, and have a stronger foundation for health. That is what the Farmers Market Nutrition Program is all about.