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Perry County Farmer’s Market tackles food insecurity with benefit programs

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Feb. 12, 2022 at 5:40 PM EST
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WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Saturday marked the Perry County Farmer’s Market’s first event of 2022, but today’s market was more than just a day to pick up fresh vegetables and baked goods.

In this day and age, it is no secret that healthier foods are more expensive than unhealthy options.

“If you go grocery shopping, you’ve seen prices, and everybody understands that inflation is really starting to have an effect on people’s ability to access food,” said Kiristen Webb, manager of the Perry County Farmer’s Market. “It’s always been a problem, but the problem is escalating.”

17% of Kentuckians are food insecure, meaning they do not always have access to cost-effective, healthier options. In order to help combat that, the Perry County Farmers Market offers various benefits for community members to afford more produce, like the Double Dollars program.

“When you come and you use your SNAP card, we actually double. For example, when you come and spend $12, you actually get $24. So, it really makes that money stretch and it’s not something that you’re gonna find in a grocery store,” said Webb.

The farmer’s market also offers Carrot Cash for kids and vouchers for senior citizens.

For this pop-up event, the market partnered with Save the Children to host a sweet pea Valentines Day themed event, not only celebrating the mountain tradition of planting peas on Valentine’s Day, but to help inspire children and their families to think about food in sustainable ways.

“We’re trying to make parents and just the public aware of planting gardens,” said Susie Sizemore with Save the Children. “Back in the old days, people planted gardens, that’s what you did.”

To keep up with the market’s schedule, you can visit the Perry County Farmer’s Market Facebook page.

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