Farmers and farmers markets are essential to communities and food systems. They create jobs, boost the economy, and make nutritious fruits and vegetables more accessible. During National Farmers Market Week, it is vital to recognize the work that farmers and farmers markets do for us each and every day.
When you buy from local farmers, there are substantial economic impacts. Farmers who can produce and sell locally give people in the community new employment opportunities. Consumers who purchase local produce at farmers markets see more of their money flow back into their communities. On average, 48% of all money spent locally stays in the community, and less than 14 percent of money spent at chains is recirculated into the local economy.
Farmers markets also bridge the gap between farmers and consumers. Customers get to learn about where their food comes from and establish connections with growers. This also creates a social dynamic within communities. Having a place for friendly social interaction enhances communities.
In areas where food access is limited, farmers markets can be a great addition. Markets bring locally-grown food to people who need it most, and programs like Double Up Food Bucks help them bring home even more fresh produce. Farmers markets give people healthier, fresh options that may not be present where they usually shop.
Supporting local farmers does more than help consumers. Many farmers face hardships that are detrimental to their well-being. Farm income is decreasing, farmers are losing land, and rural areas are facing hunger and poverty. Buying locally can uplift these communities and allow them to continue their livelihood.
Agriculture is the core of sustenance. Farmers and farmers market nourish the world and provide us with the energy we need to live. To all farmers and farmers market workers: thank you.
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