About the Program
United Way of the Southern Alleghenies has partnered with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and the Center for Population Health to enable SNAP benefits to be accepted at the Johnstown Farmer’s Market by participating vendors. Healthy, locally grown foods are now accessible to more members of our community. In addition, we’ll be able to accept credit and debit cards for customers wishing to make a purchase.
Visit the Farmer’s Market Manager’s table to swipe your card in exchange for tokens to be used as currency. Individuals using their SNAP EBT card at the market are also eligible for a “bonus bucks” program. For every dollar spent, they will receive a voucher to match it. That’s a win for participants and our area farmers.
The Benefits of Eating Local
Did you know that there are some great benefits to eating locally grown food?
- Local food is full of flavor because it is picked at the peak of ripeness.
- It’s nutrient dense. The shorter time between harvest and your kitchen means that essential vitamins and minerals aren’t lost.
- Local food ensures that you are eating seasonally. When food can be purchased by a local grower, it’s in season and more likely to taste better than food that is shipped over long distances. Plus, seasonal food is cost-effective for individuals wishing to get the most out of their food dollars.
- Local food benefits the local economy. Money spent with local farmers and growers stays in the community.
- Local food is safer. Because there is less processing, handling, and shipping, locally grown food is less likely to be contaminated.
- Local food is environmentally friendly. It helps to preserve vital farmland and greenspaces.
- Additionally, when food is grown locally you have the opportunity to ask questions about how it was raised and harvested. Knowing more about where your food comes from and how it was grown can help you make the best food choices for your lifestyle. For a guide to what fruits and veggies to expect seasonally, please check out In Season Now through PA Preferred Agriculture.
What Should I Make?
Now that you’ve picked up some beautiful produce at the market, you may be faced with the kitchen conundrum “What should I make?” Each week, we’ll feature a recipe from items at the market that you can make quickly, affordably, and without any fancy equipment.
Also, we want to hear from you. What questions do you have about fruits and veggies? Is there a recipe you want to see? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.