For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth Comiskey
August 6, 2012
Farmers Market Coalition Celebrates Health and Wellness
During National Farmers Market Week
There is surprising good news amidst rising concerns about the increasing incidence of obesity and associated chronic conditions. Every day, more communities are converging at farmers markets to begin building healthful relationships with food.
United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proclaimed August 5-11, 2012 as National Farmers Market Week. Since 2000, the number of recorded farmers markets has grown approximately 170%, from 2,863 markets in 2000 to more than 7,800 in 2012. Vilsack says “farmers markets across the country offer consumers affordable, convenient, and healthful products sold directly from the farm in their freshest possible state, increasing consumer access to fresh fruits and vegetables and thus promoting child health and potentially reducing childhood obesity.”
As consumers seek more meaningful relationships with their food, with local farms, and with their neighbors, farmers markets are improving community health, and bring diverse groups of people together through a shared social space. On August 6th, the Farmers Market Coalition, a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets, is celebrating nutrition promotion and healthful habits as part of National Farmers Market Week.
An abundance of nutritionally-dense, low-calorie fresh fruits and vegetables is not the only asset farmers markets bring to communities. Most farmers markets also conduct demonstrations that teach people how to prepare fresh produce at home, and provide them with recipes to take advantage of what’s in season.
“Farmers markets create a public space for everyone to build relationships: farmer to farmer; farmer to consumer; and neighbor to neighbor,” says Copper Alvarez , Vice President of the Farmers Market Coalition. “We stand in line with one another, exchange ideas about the food we eat, and we are nourished by the relationships as well as the food. Every time we gather at a farmers market, we become part of a unique experience that celebrates the diversity and wellness of our community.”
Seven Days, Seven Ways to Celebrate Farmers Market Impacts
Innovative partnerships that allow markets to serve as hubs of information
Promoting good nutrition and healthful habits
Business incubation, job development, and local spending
Governance and policies that put farmers first
Improving access to healthful foods in underserved neighborhoods
Growing social capital and engaging volunteers
Supporting agricultural diversity and farm viability, while inspiring a new generation of producers
The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and communities.
Learn more at FarmersMarketCoalition.org.