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Letter: Farmers market and SNAP put more food on folks' tables

We all know what autumn brings, falling leaves, kids back in school, humidity giving way to a nip in the air. But it may surprise you to know that it doesn't mean the end of the farmers market. In fact, at this time of year the bounty is usually at its richest.

So I am writing to encourage everyone to continue supporting our Red Wing Area Farmers Market on Levee Street between Broad and Bush, Saturday mornings through the end of October and then as we move indoors at Sargent's Nursery greenhouse for November and December.

As president of the local farmers market Board of Directors, I am proud of the nutritious and delicious food we provide to area families. The farm-to-table connection is part of what makes our community so vibrant. I'm also proud that even more local families have access to fresh, healthy, local food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Market Bucks.

Market Bucks is an incentive program designed to help SNAP customers increase their purchasing power at farmers markets. It is administered by Hunger Solutions and funded by the state of Minnesota. (In fact, Minnesota was the first state in the country to pass legislation funding such a program.) Participants can use their EBT card and receive a dollar-for-dollar match on all SNAP spending at our market — up to $10 per visit. Market Bucks increases the amount of fresh, local food SNAP customers can purchase.

On behalf of area farmers who work tirelessly to put food on your tables (as well as their own), I hope you will continue to support our farmers. By helping one another like this, we help to make our community stronger and better.

Char Smith

Red Wing