With summer on the horizon, things are heating up and so is outdoor farmers market season in Greater Fall River and beyond.
Tents featuring an array of locally grown and made food, arts and crafts are popping up all across the region. The diverse collection of vendors each serve up their own taste of the SouthCoast and a peek into the local culture.
Looking for a fun way to spend the day? Head to a market near you. It’s a great opportunity to buy fresh food while supporting farmers, makers and small businesses in your communities.
Many like the Fall River Farmers Markets also strive to provide area families access to reasonably priced and locally grown fruits and vegetables, which was not always easy to find.
Sarah Labossiere of Mass in Motion – Fall River helps coordinate and promote three weekly markets in the city run by Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership.
The effort began in 2019 with one market a week at HealthFirst, and has grown over the years to include the Cardinal Medeiros Towers in 2020, and the Saint Anne’s Hospital location in 2021.
This year’s markets kick off June 21 and will run through Oct. 28. They will be held Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Saint Anne’s Hospital; Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. at HealthFirst Family Care Center, 387 Quarry St.; and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cardinal Medeiros Towers, 1197 Robeson St.
Each market will feature one to two local farmers offering a large variety of fruits, vegetables, seedlings and herb plants. Labossiere said the markets are intended to be smaller “in order to not disrupt the existing flow of people at our partner sites.”
There are also social service and community organizations on hand at each site to provide residents with information, resources and giveaway items.
New this year, Labossiere said they will offer cooking demonstrations on select weeks that include ingredients folks can find at the market on those dates.
The events always draw a decent crowd, and “customers have increased in number every season,” Labossiere said.
“The goal of these three markets is to bring fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables as close as possible to locations where Fall River residents already live, visit, work and play,” Labossiere said. “We want to make healthy eating choices as convenient and affordable as possible.”
According to Labossiere, they do so by insisting that the farms providing the food at these markets are authorized to accept payment via EBT cards from folks who use SNAP, a national program that helps to supplement food budgets in order to allow individuals and families to purchase nutritious foods.
Labossiere said the promotion team works hard to share information about SNAP eligibility, as well as the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), which is “a relatively new, and little known program” managed by the Department of Transitional Assistance.
Read more about the outdoor farmers’ markets here: https://www.heraldnews.com/story/news/local/2022/06/14/farmers-markets-fall-river-new-bedford-westport-swansea-somerset-tiverton/7556275001/