DeKalb County – Spring is well established, which means area farmers markets are in full swing. Residents can purchase local produce and talk directly with those who actually grow the food — an opportunity that one doesn’t have at a regular grocery store. Most, if not all, of the farmers have farms within a 100-mile radius of the market location.
The DeKalb County Board of Health’s goal is to increase consumption of produce in an effort to decrease the prevalence of chronic disease among residents of DeKalb County. The 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System found that 86 percent of residents did not eat the recommended minimum of five fruits and vegetables daily. “The Board of Health is taking a multi-tiered approach to addressing the high rate of chronic disease, particularly rates of diabetes and obesity, by providing greater access to healthy foods and improving access to physical activity opportunities,” states District Health Director S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A. “We are excited that recent funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health initiative will help us reach these goals.”
The DeKalb County Board of Health is also promoting area farmers markets to residents, houses of worship and other organizations. Even today, many people are not familiar with the benefits of farmers markets and often perceive them as expensive. Also, some low-income residents do not know that seven out of the eight area farmers markets accept SNAP benefits (EBT cards/Food Stamps).
“We want to let people know that shopping at a farmers market can be affordable and that programs like Wholesome Wave’s 2-for-1 program can really help make that possible,” states Latresh Davenport, a health promotion specialist who was recently hired through the community health grant. Wholesome Wave Georgia currently partners with 37 farmers markets to double each dollar that a customer spends using their SNAP benefits (EBT card/Food Stamps) for up to $50 per visit. That means a person can purchase $100 worth of SNAP-eligible food for only $50. The double dollar value helps reduce the cost to the consumer and helps the farmer as well.
Area markets are open at different times of the week and are conveniently located. Most of the markets have clearly marked information booths, so first-time visitors should stop there first.
Here is a list of some of the farmers markets that are in or close to DeKalb County:
- Clarkston Farmers Market, 3701 College Ave., Clarkston, Ga. 30021, 1st Saturday of the month, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., through Nov. 7, clarkstonfarmersmarket.com.
- Decatur Farmers Market, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur, Ga. 30030, every Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., through December, www.farmatl.org.
- Decatur Farmers Market, 498 N. McDonough Rd., Decatur, Ga. 30030, every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., year round, www.farmatl.org.
For more information, contact Dilsey Davis at (404) 294-3803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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