The annual Marshall farmers market is the place to go if you’re looking for fresh fruits and vegetables between July and October. The local market features a variety of regional vendors providing things you might expect to find at a farmers market. The market in Marshall is also known for its homemade wares, music and fun.
Last year’s farmers market, conveniently located between the YMCA and Schwan’s, was a huge success thanks to the Power of Produce (PoP) program.
Through a grant with the United Way of Southwest Minnesota, the Power of Produce introduced children to healthier food options. Funded with 500 tokens valued at $2 each, the Power of Produce allowed children to purchase healthy produce at the market. A total of 251 kids, ages 4-12, participated in the program in 2017.
Kids can be picky eaters. Trying new, unfamiliar foods isn’t typically at the top of their list of things to do. But putting the purchasing power in their hands, the market opened their eyes to new healthy foods they may never have otherwise tried…willingly that is.
One young shopper said, “My first PoP dollars went for raspberries. I love them! But when they were gone, I had to find produce that I had never eaten before. So I bought some broccoli, and now it’s my favorite. I love those trees!”
While the program itself was designed to give kids the power of choice, it also benefited the families as a whole, too. A family of three with SNAP/EBT, a supplemental nutrition assistance program, could spend $10, receive matching funds up to $10, and an additional $6 in PoP coupons for a total of $26 to be spent at the market! And only $10 would come out of their pocket.
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that you don’t want to wait to make it to the farmers market this year. Where else will you find local flavor like this in Southwest Minnesota?