Deborah Solie, project associate, 402.870.1133, firstname.lastname@example.org; Teresa Hoffman, senior communications associate, 402.687.2100, ext. 1012, email@example.com
KEARNEY, NEBRASKA – The Kearney Area Farmers Market opened May 6, offering fresh vegetables, homemade bread, and more. Buffalo County Community Partners and the Center for Rural Affairs are partnering with the market in an effort to raise awareness of the nutritional importance and economic impact access to fresh fruits and vegetables make in the community.
The market, in the Hilltop Mall Parking Lot, at 5011 Second Ave. in Kearney, is held weekly on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Beginning in June, the market will also be open on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
“The Kearney Area Farmers Market is a great way for Buffalo County community members to purchase fresh foods for their families,” said Deborah Solie, project associate with the Center. “New programming, like the demonstrations by local chefs and healthy foods taste testing, are our way of educating residents about the many delicious ways fresh fruits and vegetables can be prepared and served.”
The Kearney Area Farmers Market accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), as well as debit and credit cards and senior vouchers at the information booth. Nebraska’s DUFB program qualifies shoppers using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) to match their fruit and vegetable purchases dollar for dollar, up to $20 a day.
“Our farmers market is one of the few in the state to accept SNAP and DUFB,” said Martha Marfileño, wellness coordinator with Buffalo County Community Partners. “It’s a great opportunity for community members to maximize their benefits and take home more nutritious foods to their families.”
Marfileño said a University of Nebraska-Kearney intern is helping this year with offering SNAP and DUFB at the market.
These efforts are part of a larger project to connect Buffalo County community members with local, nutritious foods. The Center and Buffalo County Community Partners hosted a training for local leaders and community members in April to provide help with organizing and identifying food challenges in the area. As a result of that session, a food security task force was formed and has begun identifying food needs and challenges.
This programming is funded by a Food Security Innovation Grant from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. For additional information or to learn more about access to local foods in Buffalo County, please contact Buffalo County Community Partners at 308.865.2284.