EBNHC Farmers Market Kicks Off Another Season

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center’s Let’s Get Movin Farmers Market in Central Square officially kicked off another season last Wednesday and will be open weekly until October.

The market will be open each Wednesday from 3 pm to 6:30 p.m. (weather permitting) and according to EBNHC’s Program Coordinator for Community Initiatives Nancy Slamet the market will be a vibrant and festive community space once again this year. 

Customers lined up to purchase fresh produce last Wednesday during the kickoff of the EBNHC Farmers Market.
The weekly market will be open each Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 6:30 pm in Central Square through October.

“This summer, we plan to bring together local farmers, food producers, artists, musicians, and community organizations to provide healthy local food, community information and resources, art and music as well as fun and wellness activities for the whole family,” said Slamet.

Slamet said while many COVID restrictions may be over EBNHC still wants to create a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for all.

“So we are asking everyone to heed the guidance of staying home if you are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19,” she said. “Shoppers are welcome to take additional precautions to feel safe and comfortable like wearing masks.”

Like last year there will still be curbside pickup through the WhatsGood app for those still not comfortable going out into crowds just yet.

“SNAP beneficiaries and all shoppers can also make purchases on our WhatsGood virtual market which we are offering again this year,” said Slamet. “Products are being added each week, so check it out.  Orders will be accepted between Thursdays and Tuesdays at 1pm for pick up at the market on Wednesdays.”

More information can be found on EBNHC’s farmers market web page and virtual market at: https://external.ebnhc.org/en/services/crwc/food-access/.

“Remember that SNAP recipients are automatically eligible to receive Healthy Incentive Program (HIP) benefits when they buy fruits and vegetables at a farmers market,” said Slamet. “This gives families an additional $40-80/month depending on family size.”

Slamet said more information on that program can be found at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/healthy-incentives-program-hip-for-clients.

The Farmers Market will also serve as a Summer Eats free meal program site for kids with help from the East Boston YMCA in partnership with the City of Boston.

The Mayor’s Office of Food Justice (OFJ) encourages residents who are SNAP, P-EBT and WIC recipients to leverage these important programs available at farmers markets, such as the HIP and WIC nutrition program as well as Summer Eats. This will make the food available at farmers markets more affordable, and provide families with healthier options.

“Farmers Markets play a key role in our communities, supporting local vendors and farmers and providing families with fresh, nutritious food,” said Hae-In Kim, Deputy Director of the Office of Food Justice. “OFJ is enthusiastic about bringing some additional benefits to residents and we are grateful to Mayor Wu for her work to create equitable access to nutritious, culturally relevant foods for Boston residents.”

The OFJ is operating the Farmers Market Coupon Program again this year at the Eastie Farmers Market. The goal of the Farmers Markets Coupon Program is to support households who do not qualify for federal and state programs, including but not limited to immigrants and refugees.

Last year the city of Boston doubled EBNHC allocation of farmers market coupons. In addition to distributing booklets to families in need, EBNHC will also provide coupons to customers on each market day.  The City of Boston coupons are only valid for fresh produce, dairy, eggs, meat, fish and baked goods.

Slamet said the Farmers Market accepts cash, debit, credit cards, and phone apps. Other acceptable forms of payment include WIC coupons, Senior coupons, SNAP/food stamps/EBT, and P-EBT.

SNAP/EBT customers receive a 100 percent incentive (a dollar-for-dollar match up to $40-$80, depending on household size) for each SNAP dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables purchased at the Farmers Market.

WIC supports farmers as well as good nutrition through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. WIC Farmers Market coupons may be used at the East Boston Farmers Market on fresh, uncut fruits and vegetables.

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