HAHRC BEATS: Healthy food, communities at the farmers’ market

Mobile markets make the rounds to Gorge communities, laden with fresh produce and other locally-made goods.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
Mobile markets make the rounds to Gorge communities, laden with fresh produce and other locally-made goods.

National Farmers’ Market week is Aug. 5-11. But don’t wait until then to shop at your local farmers market! Farmers’ markets are so valuable to our community and our health.

Produce from the farmers’ market is fresh, tasty and packed with vitamins and nutrients. Most produce in the grocery store travels seven days and 1,500 miles to the shelves, so it loses flavor and nutrition along the way. Fruits and veggies at the farmers’ market travel less than 20 miles to get to you. They are picked at peak freshness, just hours before the market opens. That means those fresh and tasty leafy greens from your local farmer have more vitamins and nutrients too!

Gorge Grown Food Network (GGFN) works hard to increase access to locally-grown fruits and veggies.

In Hood River County, GGFN manages:

Hood River Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fifth and Columbia Avenue

Mercado del Valle on the first and third Thursday of the month, 4 to 7 p.m. on Atkinson Drive in Odell

The Gorge Grown Mobile Farmers’ Market has a stand on the Heights in Hood River on Fridays from 2-3 p.m. on the corner of Eighth and Pacific Avenue, as well as on Sundays in Cascade Locks from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 681 WaNaPa Street.

All Gorge Grown markets accept WIC and Senior Farmers Market Vouchers, Veggie Rx and SNAP EBT (formerly known as food stamps). Hood River Farmers’ Market and Mobile Market give SNAP EBT customers an extra $10 free when they use benefits at the market.

At the Mercado del Valle and Hood River Farmers’ Market, the first 20 kids to visit the market info booth will receive a free $2 token to purchase fruits or veggies from a local farmer.

Farmers’ markets are more than just a place to purchase locally-grown and raised foods, and they are also a great place to connect with your neighbors and community. People who shop at farmers’ markets have an average of 10 interactions with farmers and other shoppers, compared to just three interactions at the grocery store.

Visit a farmers’ market near you soon to stock up on fresh and tasty locally-grown produce.

Visit www.gorgegrown.com/farmmarket to find a list of all the farmers markets in the Gorge.

Healthy Active Hood River County (HAHRC) is a community healthy living coalition. They promote wellness through increased physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention, behavioral health, prevention of addictions and policy and environmental change. Join them at their next meeting on July 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Providence Hood River Hospital Conference Rooms 1 and 2.

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