• Melanie Smith-Bell

Produce in a SNAP Market

The Hungry Harvest program rescues high quality food that is rejected by grocers for irregular size or shape and would be relegated to the landfill. Throwing it away is ordinarily the cheapest available option to the grocers. Instead, Healthy Harvest sells this food at an affordable rate, making healthy, nutritious produce more accessible and eliminating food waste. Some is local food, some is from farther afield. Customers may pay by check, cash, or with an EBT card. It is also possible to subscribe for delivery through their website, but EBT benefits cannot be processed online, so in Frederick the Produce in a SNAP market is held weekly, year round--an excellent stop gap option during the winter when many local farmers markets are not operating, and of course EBT is accepted. Find them in front of the YMCA Teaching Kitchen at the Bernard Brown Building, 629 North Market Street, from 3 to 6pm every Wednesday except for the week of November 25, 2019. The market will be held on Tuesday the 26th due to Thanksgiving--the theme will be Thanksgiving vegetables so come out and rescue some awkward sweet potatoes for your casserole!

This is a wonderful community program. Many customers of the market are also volunteers. It is open to all, and has been particularly popular with residents on fixed incomes; however, Healthy Harvest is responsive to demand. If the market starts to be used by a wider segment of the community they can begin to rescue more veggies. They even publish

the offerings in advance of the market each week so that you can plan your other grocery shopping around what you will be able to find there or plan recipes that you know you can get supplies for within your budget.

Another great aspect of the program is that the Y Leaders Club has teen volunteers participating each week under the direction of Evan Bates. This is a great opportunity for teenagers to feel invested in the community Iand learn about local issues that surround food--access, affordability, and reducing waste. Any remaining produce at the end of the market day is donated and transported to the Frederick Rescue Mission through the Food Council's Food Equity & Access Working Group.

--Fond wishes from Farm to School for a very happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful for this caring community.

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