Making local food more affordable

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 2:20 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - For many people, one of the biggest barriers to eating a diet rich in locally grown fruits and vegetables is affordability. Several programs aim to change that.

April Bennett, nutrition program manager for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, appeared on 7 News at Noon on Friday to to talk about those programs. Watch her interview above.

She discussed the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), which provides checks to women, infants and children through the Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) and to seniors through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) for the purchase of locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables.

WIC participants can call their local agency to have checks mailed or to arrange pick up. In Jefferson County, that number is 315-782-9222.

Seniors can pick up from the Office for the Aging at the Jefferson County Office Building at 175 Arsenal Street or call 315-785-3191 for more information.

The FreshConnect Checks program encourages recipients to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at participating farmers’ markets. The program provides $2 incentive coupons for every $5 in SNAP benefits spent with the market, increasing the purchasing power of SNAP consumers by 40 percent.

A full list of participating markets and farm stands can be found at

Participating FreshConnect sites locally include:

Bush Gardens Farm Stand

Clayton Chamber of Commerce Farmers’ Market

Watertown Farm & Craft Market

Carthage Farmers’ Market

Watertown Saturday Farmers’ Market

Windswept Meadows Farm Stand

Cape Street Market

For more information on local foods, visit:

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