You probably know about our Tryon Road Farm Stand (opening May 9th), but did you know Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is also providing the community with access to fresh, local food at a second location? IFFS and WakeMed Health & Hospitals are collaborating on year two of the WakeMed Farmers’ Market, held in the central courtyard of the hospital’s Raleigh Campus. The market serves community members and WakeMed’s own family of 5,000 employees, 300 volunteers and the thousands of patients and visitors.
The WakeMed Farmers’ Market is strategically located in the Southeast Raleigh food desert to increase access to fresh, healthy food in an area where affordable produce is often hard to find. The market accepts SNAP benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps), and WakeMed will double any SNAP benefit used at the market with a dollar-for-dollar match (while funding lasts). This Market Match program increases shoppers’ buying power and makes it easier for local families to eat healthier.
Market dates for the 2015 season are Tuesdays May 5th and 19th, then every Tuesday from June 2nd through August 25th. Hours for the WakeMed Farmers’ Market are 10am-2pm. Purchases can be made via cash, credit, debit, or SNAP/EBT cards.
Vendors will set up at the hospital’s outdoor courtyard – located just through the Main Visitor’s Entrance – off New Bern Avenue. WakeMed is offering free parking in the P1 parking deck for Farmer’s Market Patrons (details).
“We strive to build a healthier food system accessible to all,” said Becky Dobosy, IFFS Farm Stand Coordinator. “Two ways we do that is through dollar-for-dollar matching of SNAP benefits at the WakeMed Farmers’ Market and by supporting local producers of all ethnicities and backgrounds. One thing we are excited for this year is recruiting more local producers, from beginning farmers to urban farmers, and connecting them with this opportunity to participate in a new market.”
In 2014, accepting SNAP helped shoppers spend $1,320.46 of benefit money on fresh, local produce. WakeMed’s dollar-for-dollar match resulted in an investment of $2,636.94 back into our local food system.
Customers using the Market Match expressed gratitude for such affordable access, saying, “This is truly a blessing for me and my family!” and “I will definitely come back next year.”
In addition to a wide selection of North Carolina’s freshest fruits and vegetables, visitors to this summer’s WakeMed Farmers’ Market will enjoy weekly health and gardening demos and music by local artists.
By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: Lindsay@FoodShuttle.org