New Hampshire Farmers Markets are in full swing with healthy, fresh foods available for shoppers. Recently, UNH Cooperative Extension collaborating with NH Food Bank hosted local tours to help teach the benefits of shopping at local markets.
The Cooking Matters® at the Farmers Market Tours were offered to promote the Granite State Market Match incentive program at North Country Farmers’ Markets this season. Extension Field Specialist Heidi Barker explains the use of these tours to encourage income eligible participants to come out to the market and learn how to shop while learning about the fruit and vegetable incentive program. “We talk about building a relationship with local farmers and practice buying the local foods based on a budget.”
Participants also had a chance to learn about ways to cook the local fruits and veggies. A taste test provided options for seasonal produce. This weekend's tour highlighted a Cucumber Blueberry Salad prepared by regional Nutrition Connections staff. Gina Dunn of Littleton purchased a new vegetable (patty pan squash) to try with her family and plans to add more whole grains to her shopping list.
Granite State Market Match doubles SNAP/EBT benefits for fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets, helping households purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables and support local farmers. Granite State Market Match is an incentive that is earned for SNAP purchases. It can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds, and seedlings.
Markets throughout the state participate in this program and can be found at granitestatemarketmatch.org. UNH Cooperative Extension serves as the North Country regional lead, supporting Gorham, Lancaster and Littleton Farmers Market. Littleton Food Coop currently serves as the first retail Granite State Market Match site.